02.05.2005 General News

Upper East Minister to get tough with lazy workers

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Bolgatanga, May 02, GNA - Heads of departments and institutions in the Upper East Region would henceforth take responsibility for the non-performance of their subordinates, Mr Boniface Gambila, the Regional Minister, has said.

Also, workers in the region who fail to live up to their duties would proceed on leave without pay. Mr Gambila, who said this on Sunday when he addressed the Region's May Day parade at Navrongo, stressed the need for a change of attitude towards work if the government's goal of reducing poverty was to be attained.

He said demands for higher remuneration and better conditions of service by workers had to be backed with increased productivity, otherwise there could be no headway.

The minister urged workers to copy the discipline, solidarity and time-consciousness exhibited by the military and other security services personnel, saying that without those qualities the labour front would continue to fall short of expectation. Mr Gambila called on Ghanaians to disabuse their minds of the old perception that government was a different entity that sat somewhere and sent down manna from heaven.

"It is all of us who constitute government and the progress or otherwise of this country is our collective responsibility," he said.

Alhaji Abdulai Bawah, the Regional Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, mentioned poor remuneration, the late arrival of monthly salaries and the delay in the sale of low cost houses to sitting occupants as some of the major concerns of workers in the region. He urged the government to suspend action on the decision to increase water and electricity tariffs, saying that the burden would be too much for the ordinary worker to bear.

Alhaji Bawah expressed concern about the persistent smuggling of petroleum products in the Kassena-Nankana District despite the recent price increases and urged the district assembly and the Regional Co-ordinating Council to bring the situation under control. Reacting later to the issue on the sale of low cost houses to workers, the Regional Minister said although the decision had been reached, the RCC had to suspend its implementation temporarily in view of the acute accommodation problem facing workers in the region at the moment.

Prizes were awarded to 12 workers for their hard work and dedicated services to the labour movement. Each of them received a certificate, a badge and a large size radio/cassette player otherwise known as "Ghetto Blaster".

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