Workers of Ghana today joined their counterparts all over the world to celebrate May Day in Accra. It is a celebration of a record of achievements of more than 100 years of trade's union solidarity. The occasion was used to award hard working workers in the country.
The theme for this year's celebration was “UNITY OF PURPOSE UNDER FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION: THE ROLE OF ORGANISED LABOUR.” The celebration was witnessed by representatives from members of the Ghana Trades Union, Civil Servants Association and Organised Labour.
President J. A. Kufuor who addressed the parade of workers for the occasion, urged workers to be determine to be as productive as possible and promised that government would “not exploit labour unduly.”
He entreated Organised Labour to guard against any tendency which might bring rivalries and intolerance of diverging views within their ranks so as to work as a united front for the good of all.
President Kufuor assured the workers of his government's commitment to the policy of open administration and broad consultation with the National Labour Commission and the National Tripartite Committee and the leadership of Organised Labour to ensure continued and enhanced harmony.
He was optimistic that by the end of the year there would be a major breakthrough in the economy and this would reflect in the living conditions of Ghanaians. He announced the re-opening of the VALCO Smelter by the first of July. He said the opening of the smelter was the first tep in the implementation of Integrated Aluminium Industry of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, this could not materialise.
“Government has already secured $30 million loan as working capital for the re-activation of the smelter”, the, President said and hoped it would be of benefit to all in four years to come.
The Secretary General of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), Mr. Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, said report from the Ghana Statistical Service based on the Ghana Living Standard Survey show that during the 1990s there were inequalities in income.
He noted that in 1992, 10 pre cent of the people in the bottom of the population received a total income of 1.2 percent, compared to the 36 per cent received by 10 per cent of people at the top. In 1999 the bottom 10 percent declined to 0.3 per cent, whiles those at the top increased to 42.5 per cent, he lamented.
Mr. Adu-Amankwah urged government to make it a priority to address the issue of unemployment and create more jobs for the prosperity of the nation.