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12.06.2009 Politics

Asfag is misleading the public -Okudzeto

By Charles Takyi-Boadu - Ghanaian Chronicle
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The Deputy Ministers of Information and Finance, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Fiifi Kwetey have respectively called the bluff of Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) to hit the streets in the next fourteen days if their demands for an increase in the wages and salaries of Ghanaian workers are not met by government.

In separate interviews with The Chronicle yesterday, the two wondered why AFAG has suddenly assumed the role of labour commission and the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Hon. Ablakwa was not sure about whether the group has indeed acquainted themselves with what he described as recent facts since according to him, the Mills administration recently increased the countries minimum wage by 18%.

That notwithstanding, he noted that not too long ago, organized labour and government met at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) in Accra, at which they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) where the concern of organized labour was that government should implement the much talked-about Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).

This, according to him, has been the major focus of organized labour and he was therefore not sure who and which group AFAG was indeed speaking for, considering the fact that government has committed itself to implementing the SSSS in January 2010.

He was, however, convinced that by the end of the fourteen days ultimate, members of the group would have come to the realization that they made a lot of errors, considering the facts available.

In spite of this, he said government was about to remove subsidies from electricity

“If they had taken their time… it appears to me…I have been involved in this before and if you don't gather your facts well, your foundation becomes very shaky and sometimes it might embarrass you.”

The Deputy Minister also described as totally untrue claims by the groups to the effect that government has contracted a loan of US $3.2 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), saying “I am afraid that over the next couple of days when they see the facts, they may be forced to review their own position because the claims they are making are not true.”

On his part, Fiifi Kwetey wondered when AFAG as a group became spokespersons for the TUC to begin agitating for increase in wages and salaries of workers.

Though he declined to make a substantive comment on the issues raised, saying “I am not going to waste my time in responding to AFAG, I have serious things to do”. Mr. Kwetey said a press conference would soon be organized to address some of the issues raised.

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