TEWU Demonstration Halts KNUST Operations; Union Members Demand Redress for Unsettled Grievances

In a decisive move, the Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU) chapter at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) orchestrated a demonstrative protest within the university campus on Wednesday, January 31, 2024. The national executives of the union spearheaded the protest, directing attention to a range of grievances and demanding action from the authorities.

National Chairman of TEWU KNUST, Mr. Suleman Abdul Rahman, conveyed the union’s frustration in an interview, citing the government’s withholding of their funds without any indication of repayment. This situation, according to Rahman, triggered the decision to embark on the strike, with members steadfast in their resolve not to resume work until their demands are adequately addressed.

The Local Union Chairman at KNUST, Charles Arthur, underscored the indispensable role played by union members in the university’s administration. He detailed their responsibilities, including the cleaning of lecture halls crucial for the smooth functioning of academic activities.

Arthur warned the university management to respect their right to strike, emphasizing that the union seeks acknowledgment of its grievances rather than chaos. Referring to Section 170 of the labor act, Arthur stressed that employers are prohibited from temporarily replacing labor during a lawful strike.

He called on the university management to adhere to this law enacted by the Parliament of Ghana. Arthur expressed concerns about potential attempts to compel TEWU members or non-members to work during the strike, cautioning against possible confusion and chaos.

He highlighted the presence of inspectors monitoring compliance with the strike action and urged management to distinguish between authority and disruption. Additionally, he emphasized that security personnel are unified in the strike, with no exceptions.

In a separate conversation with a member of both the Senior Staff and TEWU, Mr. Lord Dwubaa, and the Commander of Security Services at KNUST, he expressed support for his subordinates. Dwubaa pointed out the potential impact on other associations, noting that currently, only junior security officers are on duty.

He outlined grievances, including the withdrawal of tier 2 and car maintenance allowances. Dwubaa further stated that, as a security officer, he cannot fulfill his duties due to the closure of the KNUST Basic School, affecting his two children.

The TEWU demonstration has effectively disrupted KNUST operations, highlighting the urgency for dialogue and resolution to address the legitimate concerns raised by the union. The university community awaits the response of the authorities in navigating through this challenging situation.