GTUC asks for more decent jobs
May 01, 2011
Accra, May 1, GNA - The Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC), at the celebration of this year's May Day, has called on the Government to take the necessary steps to facilitate the creation of decent jobs for the people, especially the youth.
Mr Kofi Asamoah, Secretary General of the Congress, said though job creation occupied an important position on the agenda of the ruling Government, and the budget of 2011 focused on job creation, the Union was yet to see concrete strategies and measures aimed at addressing the alarming unemployment situation.
“Sadly though, the budget did not provide specific strategies or measures for job creation and the indicators against which performance would be measured, “Mr Asamoah said in an address to workers, who thronged the Independence Square in Accra, for a march past to mark the Day on Sunday.
May Day is an occasion to reinforce workers solidarity and unity worldwide to overcome the challenges they face.
It is set aside for working people to review and assess their conditions in the world of work and within society as a whole.
It is also an occasion for working people to raise their collective voice and to bring their concerns and the challenges they are facing to the fore.
This year's celebration in Ghana is on the theme: “Decent Work for Sustainable Economic Development.”
The national celebration, traditionally addressed by the President was this year addressed by the Vice, Mr John Dramani Mahama, who informed the gathering that the President, Professor John Evans Atta Mills, would address the regional celebration in Tamale, where the President is on a regional tour.
Mr Asamoah noted that a large majority of Ghanaians were working under very harsh conditions in the informal economy, enduring long hours of work for very low incomes for their labour.
“Street hawking has become a survival strategy in the absence of decent jobs,” he noted. “It is a reflection of the employment policy failure and the failure of the macro-economic policies in Ghana, generally, to deal with the huge decent work deficit.”
He said workers in the formal sector receive wages, which could not take them home.
Also, the outcome of the mapping of public workers onto the Single Spine Salary Structure clearly showed that the level of pay in the public sector was still low and required further review if real benefits were to be seen in the new pay policy.
He called for improvement in wages for increased labour productivity, coupled with investment in training of workers, as well as worker empowerment by their employers to take part in decisions that affected them, as well as giving them voice and the opportunity to join trade union of their choice.
While recalling the recent accident of gas explosion at the Western Steel and Forgings Company in Tema, which led to a number of injuries, Mr Asamoah called on the Government, employer and workers to pay maximum attention to occupation safety and healthy working environment.
He said Government must resource the Factories Inspectorate Division and the Labour Department to do their work as part of the Decent Work Agenda for sustainable social and economic development.
The Secretary General called for a team up of Government, employers and workers to reduce poverty among workers and asked the Government to strengthen the National Health Insurance Scheme for better health care delivery.
The Congress also called for transparency in the administration of the proceeds of the operations in the newly found oil industry.
The implementation of a report by the Chris Ackumey Committee should also start immediately to save the PSC Tema Shipyard from imminent collapse and also to add value to the oil and gas industry when operated efficiently.
Mr Asamoah called on the government of the day, political parties and the National Electoral Commission and other stakeholders to take measures to ensure that the campaign for the 2012 elections are devoid of insults and violence.
He also called on the Government not to renew the contract of AVRL Management of the Ghana Water Company Limited.
The Vice President acknowledged the workers who marched past the VIP dais
with a wave or a salute.
Some of the placards read: “Single Spine Too Small”, “We want Single Spine Arrears”, “Workers Will Not Die All Die”, “Better Ghana, Better Salaries”, “AVRL Must Go”, “STC is Dying”, and “No Good Pay, No Election 2012.”
More than 30 workers from various branches of the TUC were given awards for their distinguished services to their organizations.