The Trades Union Congress (TUC) on Thursday congratulated President John Evans Atta Mills, on his assumption of office and made series of demands including a living wage.
“Even before you settle down for the onerous duties as the President of Ghana, we would like to draw your attention to the low wages and incomes in Ghana, especially the public sector, notwithstanding some pay increases over the past few years,” the TUC said in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Mr Kofi Asamoah.
“We wish to reiterate Ghana TUC’s long-standing demand for a living wage,” it said, adding that the union expected President Atta Mills to pay priority attention to the demands to facilitate improved productivity and transformation of the economy.
The TUC drew attention to consultations and negotiations on the single spine pay structure with the previous administration and urged President Mills to implement it without further delay.
The TUC also appealed to the Head of State to implement the Pensions Act (Act766), to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the Presidential Commission in order to address low pensions.
The TUC urged President Mills to name “a government of competence and dedicated Ghanaians” and not “those who will be in for accumulation of wealth at the expense of the poor”.
It reminded President Mills about his commitment to an all-inclusive government, saying this was critical for the consolidation of national unity given the tension that characterised the election.
The TUC urged President Mills to develop policies needed to transform Ghana into a middle income economy within the shortest possible time.
The TUC also drew attention to workers’ rights, explaining that although the International Labour Organisation Convention; 158, provided that an employee should not have his/her employment terminated without reason, this has not been ratified by Ghana.
He therefore urged the new President to ratify it.
“Some employers have taken advantage of this to sack their employees without any reason. This has become a source of great worry for many workers as employers, misuse their so-called management prerogative to terminate the employment of workers who want to legitimately exercise their rights as Ghanaians and as workers.”
The TUC urged the in-coming government to promote social dialogue among the social partners through the existing tripartite structures.
“We want good governance, respect for fundamental human and workers’ rights and freedoms. We want transparency and openness in the processes of governance.
“We would like to see a determined onslaught on corruption in all spheres of public and private life.”
The TUC said it also needed policies that would accelerate the eradication of poverty, greater access to quality health and education and decent employment.