body-container-line-1
07.10.2022 Social News

World Day for Decent Work: ICU-Ghana calls on gov’t to deal with employers exploiting employees

By Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Mr. Morgan Ayawine, General Secretary,Industrial and Commercial Workers Union, ICU-GHANAMr. Morgan Ayawine, General Secretary,Industrial and Commercial Workers Union, ICU-GHANA
07.10.2022 LISTEN

The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU-GHANA) has marked this year’s World Day for Decent Work with a call on government to tackle employee exploitation.

Among other things, ICU-Ghana has brought to the attention of the government how so many jobs have been made “precarious” through casualization and contractualisation work regime, that has been foisted on a lot of workers due to the hydra-headed unemployment problems in the country.

It added that the situation has thus denied such unfortunate workers future financial security among other deprivations.

Insisting that employers engaged in such acts are exploiting their employees, ICU-Ghana has called on the government to step in.

“The casual, contract and temporary work regime, though allowed by the Labour Laws of Ghana for a limited period not exceeding six (6) months and for seasonal jobs only, has been entrenched and mainstreamed so much so that even some permanent employees are outsourced by some unprincipled employers to employment agencies and redeploy them back into the same organization as casuals and/or contract workers with reduced wages/salaries and denial of social insurance (like SSNIT) thus jeopardizing their future financial security. This constitutes an Unfair Labour Practice and it must not be allowed to fester any longer.

“We, therefore, call on the relevant authorities (i.e. Government through Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations) to clamp down on these anti-nation builders parading as employers and bring fairness and equality to the employment structure in Ghana,” parts of a press release by ICU-Ghana signed by General Secretary Mr. Morgan Ayawine has said.

According to ICU-Ghana, it is ready to collaborate with the authorities to name, shame and sanction those exploitative employers so as to sanitize the employment system for the good of all stakeholders.

Below is a copy of the press release:

PRESS STATEMENT

WORLD DAY FOR DECENT WORK

The 7th of October, is marked every year by the Labour Movement all over the world, as “World Day For Decent Work”, to garner support for the implementation and sustainability of “Decent Work”, that is, work that gives equal pay for equal work; work that gives opportunity for personal development, work that ensures the future financial security (like social insurance) of workers, work that ensures job security etc of workers.

In Ghana today, so many jobs have been made “precarious” through casualization and contractualisation work regime, that has been foisted on a lot of workers due to the hydraheaded unemployment problems in the country, thus denying such unfortunate workers future financial security among other deprivations.

These classes of workers are denied their fundamental human rights to freedom of association and forming or joining a trade union for the promotion and protection of their social and economic interests as espoused by the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and the Labour Laws of Ghana.

The casual, contract and temporary work regime, though allowed by the Labour Laws of Ghana for a limited period not exceeding six (6) months and for seasonal jobs only, has been entrenched and mainstreamed so much so that even some permanent employees are outsourced by some unprincipled employers to employment agencies and redeploy them back into the same organization as casuals and/or contract workers with reduced wages/salaries and denial of social insurance (like SSNIT) thus jeopardizing their future financial security. This constitutes an Unfair Labour Practice and it must not be allowed to fester any longer.

We therefore call on the relevant authorities (i.e. Government through Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations) to clamp down on these anti-nation builders parading as employers, and bring fairness and equality to the employment structure in Ghana.

The ICU-Ghana is ready to collaborate with the authorities to name, shame and sanction those exploitative employers so as to sanitize the employment system for the good of all stakeholders.

The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic that lasted for almost two years before subsiding, took a heavy toll on a lot of workers as they lost their jobs through staff attrition by some organizations and, in some cases, total closure of businesses.

All this adversely affected the social insurance and future financial security of the workers and jeopardized their socio-economic interest and protection.

Now that businesses are recovering and there is an opportunity for those who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic to regain their jobs, if the precarious work regime is not stopped it would further deteriorate the prospects of those unfortunate workers ever having any future financial security as this repressive regime of work denies them any social insurance and protection for the future.

Today, the ICU-Ghana calls on all labour organizations in Ghana, the Ghana Employers Association, labour authorities and the Government to join hands with us to DEMAND the immediate cessation of entrenching casual and contract work beyond the seasonal job period of six months allowed by the Labour Laws of Ghana, and also converting “Decent Work” into “Precarious Work” by some selfish and inconsiderate employers thus abusing the fundamental human rights of workers, to illegally maximize profits.

If this incessant exploitation of labour does not stop, the ICU-Ghana being one of the single largest trade unions in Ghana would not hesitate to mobilise and collaborate with organized labour in the country to resist any attempt by any employer/organization to frustrate efforts towards the promotion of the decent work agenda.

Thank you.

MORGAN AYAWINE

GENERAL SECRETARY

ICU-GHANA

7TH OCTOBER, 2022

World Day for Decent Work

Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo

Journalist

body-container-line