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04.02.2005 Regional News

Organisations rise against exemption

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Sunyani (B/A), Feb. 4 GNA - Six subvented organizations in the Sunyani Municipality have decried their exclusion in the payment of a "special" Cost Of Living Allowance (COLA) of 500,000 cedis each to employees in the formal sector last December.

The affected organizations, all members of the Public Services Workers Union (PSWU) of the Trades Union Congress, at a meeting in Sunyani on Thursday appealed to the leadership of the TUC to contact the Ministry of Finance for redress.

The meeting organised by the Brong-Ahafo Regional branch of the Union was to allow members opportunity to discuss the new Labour Law. The some of the affected organizations are the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), Prices and Incomes Board (PIB), Veterans Association of Ghana, (VAG) National Youth Council, Centre for National Culture.

The exclusion of these organizations generated a lot of agitation by their representatives at the meeting, as they could not fathom why the Government should exclude them.

They wondered why the leadership of the TUC had since not said anything about the anomaly, "since the beneficiaries and those of us left out went to the same markets during the Yuletide".

Earlier, Mr John K. Oppong, PSWU Regional Industrial Relations Officer read the salient contents of the Labour Law and explained that it was a modification of the Civil Service Act of 1960.

"From 1960 to date, there has been every indication that our old Labour Law has fallen short of the convention of the International Labour Organisation, which Ghana is affiliated to, hence the need for its modification to suit the nation's current industrial environment", he added.

He noted that some parts of the new Labour Law, like the registration of unemployed persons, would enable the nation to obtain an effective data to work with.

The Industrial Relations Officer called on the government to involve private or public employment agencies in the exercise.

"The new law also takes care of the protection of the employer and the employee and their responsibilities, contract of employment, resignation or termination, type of contract, regulations concerning annual leave, employment of persons with disability, laws governing pregnant female employees, freedom of association, collective agreement, among others", he said.

Mr Oppong said offices of the Labour Commission would benefit all the district and regional capitals, adding, there would be labour inspectors who would go round to ensure that both employers and employees complied with the letter and spirit of the new law.

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