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12.02.2004 Regional News

Government-Labour relations must be cordial

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Ho, Feb 12 , GNA- Nana Ohene Ntow, government Spokesman on Finance on Tuesday said relations between government and labour must be cordial over issues relating to the determination and implementation of the daily minimum wage this year.

He was speaking at a public forum on the 2004 budget in Ho. Nana Ntow said the government could not have delayed the presentation of the budget while negotiations on the determination of the minimum wage was going on.

He said the government's obligation to the public sector workers would not be affected by the exclusion of the wage announcement from the budget and that other employers should also be given enough opportunities to arrive at a mutually acceptable wages.

Nana Ntow said it was in the interest of labour for the determination of the minimum wage to be arrived at after the budget as that would afford labour information on which to base its proposals.

He said one of the three main aspects of the budget was to reward labour in a manner that would compensate for the sacrifices it had made over the years in keeping faith with government in a collective effort to straighten up the country's macro-economic instability.

The two other major goals were to boost agriculture especially agro-processing and a vigorous growth and development of the private sector.

Mr Maxwell Akoto Mireku, Volta Regional Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) said by failing to wait the determination of the daily minimum wage before presenting the budget, government was not showing commitment to agreements between it and its social partners in the labour front.

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