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18.04.2005 General News

Tripartite Committee to determine living wage

By GNA

Ho, April 18, GNA- The Tripartite Committee on wages, has agreed on steps towards the determination of a living wage for the country. The Committee is therefore working closely with the relevant state agencies in gathering statistical and other relevant information necessary to facilitate the process.

Mr Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), gave the hint at the first quarter meeting of the Ho District Council of Labour at Ho at the weekend. He said all the social partners on the Tripartite Committee were committed to the establishment of a realistic wage regime without further delay.

The TUC Secretary-General said they were also mindful of the need for thoroughness and pragmatism in working out a system that could stand the test of time.

Mr Adu-Amankwah said the country would have to move away from the yearly ritual of coming up with a minimum wage anytime a new budget statement was read.

He said in a normal economic situation wages should be stable over a reasonable period of time as was the case in the 1970's. Mr Adu-Amankwah said indications were that people in the informal sector such as artisans earn about 30,000 cedis for working for eight hours a day, a situation he said was the yardstick in determining the reality on the ground nationwide.

He said low productivity in the formal sector was as a result of unattractive wages, explaining that once that was overcome, people would be pepped up to put in their utmost. Mr Adu-Amankwah said at the moment both employers and employees were only pretending to be doing what was normally expected of them. He said the minimum wage regime being implemented now was just to ensure that what workers have lost to inflation in the previous year was restored in the ensuing year.

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