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Business & Finance | Feb 15, 2005

Trade unionist appeals to parliament to scrutinise budget

GNA

Ho, Feb 15, GNA - A trade unionist on Tuesday appealed to parliament to scrutinise the 2005 budget statement more carefully than it did the previous ones to avoid approving ceilings on wages even before negotiations commenced.

Mr Veni Demanya, the Volta Regional Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) was speaking to the GNA in an interview. He said it was the evolving impact of the government's fiscal policies on earnings that reflected in workers' demands for wage adjustments and improvement of service conditions.

"It is therefore frustrating to go to the negotiation table only to be told, as happened last year, that wages could not go above the confines approved by Parliament," Mr Demanya said. He said spiralling inflationary trends that the deregulation of petroleum products would have on the purchasing limits of workers might take some time to manifest.

"Labour must therefore not be frustrated by limits set in a document and approved by Parliament beyond which proposals cannot go. That will be unfair," Mr Demanya stated.

He said though the government had done some work on the effects the deregulation of petroleum products could have on incomes, that should not be a basis for setting limits to wage targets in this year's budget.

Mr Demanya said labour in Ghana was responsible enough to negotiate for only realistic wages. ''No attempt should be made to whittle our bargaining rights".

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