Regional activities – Country Report: Ghana, Malmö – 18-20/06/2001

HRCT

11th TRADE GROUP
CONFERENCE
Malmö, 18-20/6/2001

Item 5: Regional activities
Country Report: Ghana

Presented by Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU)

Report on condition of service in hotels, restaurants and fastfood joints

Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs)
Collective Bargaining Agreement is signed between the union and some hotels especially the Transnational Hotel chains. Most of the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) contain the following provisions.

Working Hours

In most hotels, there is a 40-hour week, based on eight and half (8½) hours of work a day, including thirty minutes of break for meals. There is a two days off every week except when the hotel is very busy in which case one is either paid for the period worked or the day(s) off is rescheduled when the hotel is less busy. This may vary from hotel to hotel.

The story is different in the small hotels, restaurants and fastfood joints where workers work for long hours ranging between 12 to 16 hours with nothing paid for the extra hours.

Transportation

Some hotels provide transport to and from work. Others provide transport only for staff that close late in the night. In most cases especially the small hotels, restaurants and fastfood joints, one has to find his or her own means of going to work and getting home.

Holidays/Overtime

Work performed on public holidays and overtime are paid for in some hotels; Public holidays and days off attract double payment. Overtime payment on a normal working day is calculated by time and half (1 ½).

Accommodation

This is provided by some hotels. It is mostly provided by those hotels outside the big cities. It is sometimes subsidised, others deduct the full rate from the salaries of the beneficiary employees.

Annual Leave

Annual leave is granted to all employees who have continuously served for a period of 12 months. Leave days are calculated based on how long one has served and do not include Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

Whilst some employees take leave allowance, others have it consolidated into their monthly salary.

Casual Leave

An employee may apply in writing for casual leave to enable him or her attend to urgent private matters.

Sick Leave

Sick leave may be granted to any employee on full pay up to six months, thereafter three months on half pay after which the employee maybe retired on medical grounds after appearing before a medical board.

Maternity Leave

When a female employee becomes pregnant and is due for confinement she shall be granted annual leave in addition to three months maternity leave on full pay. Six weeks if possible are to be taken before confinement on the production of a medical certificate.

A nursing mother returning to duty after maternity leave will be allowed one hour a day to nurse her baby for the first six months.

Medical Facilities

Free medical care is provided to all employees and their families based on conditions set in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Employee’s spouse and children below the age of 18 years and who are not gainfully employed also enjoy this facility.

Uniform

Where the hotel requires employees to wear uniform in the interest of the business, the hotel provides them free of charge, at least once a year.

Canteen Facilities

Most of the hotel chains provide meals at the staff canteen to their employees.

Casual Workers

They are called upon to work as and when they are needed in most hotels. Some casual workers are hired on contracts and renewed on monthly or quarterly bases. They are paid wages and do not benefit from other incentives provided for permanent staff.

Funeral Grants

In the event of the death of a serving staff, the hotel donates cash, coffin and drinks. In the event of the death of an immediate family member of a serving staff, (e.g. mother, father, spouse or child), the hotel donates cash and drinks.

Tourism

In Ghana, until the last 10 years, tourism was not given the national attention it deserved. However, over the last ten years the sector has received enough attention and it is becoming the fastest expanding economic activity in Ghana.

At the union front, ICU has identified the tourism sector as the one holding the largest potential membership.

With the collaboration of LO/FTF; HK Service, UNI and IUF, the ICU is currently being considered for a training project for its members in the tourism sector.

Child Labour

In Ghana, child labour is not prevalent in the hotel, restaurant, catering and tourism sector. Child Labour is however found in the agricultural sector.

Casual Work

This system of employment is becoming a vogue in Ghana. Employers use that system to deprive workers of their basic trade union rights. By that system of work condition, workers are intimidated not to join the trade unions.