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05.11.2005 General News

Ghana Union of Physically Disabled Workers joins TUC

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Kumasi, Nov 5, GNA - The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has accepted the Ghana Union of Physically Disabled Workers (GUPDW) as an associate member of the union. Mr Kofi Asamoah, Deputy General Secretary of the TUC, who announced this in Kumasi said, the rights of disabled workers was the responsibility of all in the society and part of human rights. However, he said, disabled workers can fight for these rights only when they come together as a group as they have done.

Speaking at the first training of trainers workshop for members of the union selected from all the 10 regions on Friday, Mr Asamoah said their voices would only be heard and their demands taken seriously when they take their union seriously and work together as one people. He asked the members to take advantage of such workshops to upgrade their skills for them to also impart their knowledge to their colleagues on the streets so that they will learn to depend on themselves for their livelihood.

The Deputy Secretary General advised the members not to leave the activities of the union on the shoulders of only the executive but that all should take part in its activities.

Mr Christopher K. Kisseih, President of the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled, noted that disabled workers had been taken for granted for far too long and therefore the workshop was to boost their capacity to be able to fight for their rights. He said, for instance that, some disabled workers cannot use most facilities at their places of work and other institutions, especially those using wheel-chairs.

In spite of persistent appeals to the authorities to take the plight of the disabled into consideration when constructing facilities, their pleas and appeals had fallen on deaf ears. He said though the government had instituted the disability allowance for all disabled workers in the Civil Service and the Ghana Education Service (GES) it was not additional income. Mr Kisseih said, that aside, the civil service and GES, other institutions had refused to pay the allowances to the disabled and therefore called on the government to explain why it had not as yet passed the disability bill.