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09.07.2004 General News

Existence of TUC assured despite new labour law - Adu-Amankwah

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Tamale, July 09, GNA - Mr Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) declared in Tamale on Friday that the Union's existence is assured because "it is an entrenched provision in the Constitution".

Mr Adu-Amankwah said this in apparent reference to the new Labour Law (Act651), which allows for the freedom of workers to join any union of their choice.

The TUC Secretary-General who was addressing the closing session of a two-day meeting of the Northern Region Council of Labour, said it was now the basic right of every worker to decide to belong to any sister union.

"As to how trade unions would survive in the country is left in the hands of workers themselves," he added.

The meeting was to afford the leadership of the Union the opportunity to interact with the rank and file and to explain to them the challenges facing the TUC with regard to the new labour law and proposed amendments to the Union's constitution.

Mr Adu-Amankwah noted that the basic challenge facing the TUC was how to make it more attractive to draw new members into its fold and therefore urged its leadership to be more democratic, transparent and accountable to their membership.

Mr Kofi Asamoah, Deputy Secretary General in Charge of Operations, noted that the freedom of belonging to different unions should be viewed against the background that "not all freedoms are healthy for workers' progress".

He said divisions within the labour front had created room for the manipulation of workers.

He was of the view that in spite of the new labour law, there is the need for a dominant national Union. "If you think that there is freedom of association and therefore you break away from your mother Union, then you are not helping Ghanaians in anyway".

Speaking on the "CAP 30" and SSNIT pension schemes, Mr Asamoah said the SSNIT scheme was nothing to write home about and appealed to the government to consider other alternatives of enhancing workers' pension. Mrs Nadia Ibrahimah, Northern Regional Secretary of the TUC, urged women's wings of the union in the region to work hard to uplift its image and called on the women's leadership to assert itself in all Union activities.