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01.05.2004 Regional News

Government urged to pay supplementary retirement benefits to workers

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Tamale, May 1, GNA - Ms Nadia Ibrahim, Northern Regional Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), has appealed to the Government to institute a retirement policy in which supplementary payments could be made to workers out of their total retirement benefits.

She said such a system would enable workers to, either invest in a building or set up their own businesses before they go on retirement. Ms Ibrahim was addressing this year's May Day Anniversary under the theme: Social Protection and Economic Development- the Role of Organised Labour", in Tamale on Saturday.

She appealed to Government to reconsider its decision to sell low cost houses to retired workers who are presently occupying them, explaining that this would create a problem for the workers because when they are transferred, because they would no longer be able assured of ready accommodation.

She suggested that Government rather acquire large tracts of land, and sell them out at subsidized prices for retired workers who want to build their houses.

Ms Ibrahim cautioned Government against the sale of public property, especially public utilities to multinationals and foreign companies under the guise of Private Sector Participation, adding this could bring untold hardship to the people.

Mr Ernest Debrah, Northern Regional Minister, commended the labour front for the peaceful industrial atmosphere prevailing in the country, saying," We are allies in the collective development in the country."

He appealed to workers to avoid negative criticisms of government policies or their fellow workers without any alternatives of solutions to problems, adding " Give praise where it is due."

Mr Debrah said the Tamale Teaching Hospital would be fully operational this year as befitting its status.

As part of the anniversary celebration, a quiz contest was organised for second cycle institutions in the municipality, and sponsored by Unimax Macmillan Limited.

Saint Charles Seminary Secondary came first with 60 points, followed by Tamale Secondary School, with 53 points and Northern School of Business with 43.5 points.

The schools and some TUC workers were presented with books, certificates and some cash.

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