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22.12.2004 Regional News

Work harder to merit salaries - PSWU

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Cape Coast, Dec 22, GNA - Mr Johnson Edmund Kyeremeh, the Central Regional Industrial Relations Officer of the Public Service Workers Union (PSWU) has called on workers to work harder to merit the salaries they are being paid.

He expressed concern that although all workers are supposed to work for eight hours a day and 40 hours a week, most of them work less than 20 hours a week, and either use the rest of the time sleeping, working lotto or gossiping.

''This did not augur well for the nation's development.'' Mr Kyeremeh said this at a day's seminar to educate members of the Cape Coast branch of the PSWU about the new labour Act and how it affects workers.

The Labour Act 651 that was passed by parliament seeks to bring all existing legislation on labour in conformity with the constitution and provide a more responsive and flexible legal regime that allows for proactive treatment and resolution of labour issues.

"Many workers do not deserve the salaries they earn because they do not work the required hours expected of them", he said. Mr Kyeremeh said it was said many members of the union show no interest in its activities as a result of which they are ignorant about what is happening in their various organisations.

He suggested that "competent and enlightened" union leaders be elected at all workplaces to address pertinent issues like educating workers on the importance of collective bargaining agreements. Touching on the Labour Act, he urged workers to study it and to be conversant with its provisions, to enable them understand their rights and responsibilities. ''If this is done there will be no need for the unnecessary industrial actions normally embarked upon by workers since their rights and duties are all spelt out in the Act.'' Mr John Michael Aggrey, branch chairman of the union, also expressed concern about members' lack of interest in the activities of the union and said if care were not taken freedom of association, formation of trade unions and of employers' organisations, as provided in the Act, would disintegrate the PSWU.

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