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Labour front challenged to be assertive in development agenda

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Organised labour has been challenged to increase its visibility in the country’s development agenda and step up its capacity to engage social partners in effective discussions on economic development.

They should also insist on their right to be consulted on all social issues and pursue vigorously the Decent Work Agenda on all fronts, because of its ability to eradicate poverty and tackle social inequalities.

Mr Dennis Vormawor, Chief Executive Officer of the Labour Enterprise Trust, made the call at this year’s May Day symposium organised by the Trades Union Congress as part of activities to herald the 2011 May Day celebrations.

This year’s symposium was on the theme: “Decent Work for Sustainable Economic Development.”

Mr Vormawor noted that as governments engaged daily in making decisions that affected workers and the populace, it was the right of trade unions to be involved in the formulation of policies to ensure that decisions taken by government were in the best interest of their members and society at large.

This, he said, required that union movements mounted very strong campaigns for their inclusion in policy formulation and engaged the authorities constantly in social dialogue.

Vormawor noted that global efforts at economic development had identified decent work as a tool that had to be adopted by all including Ghana, because it was the surest way to eradicate poverty.

This, he said, posed a challenge to the trades union movement and also offered better opportunities to be more involved in the national economic development effort.

He called on workers and organised labour to double their efforts at building their capacity if they intended to play meaningful roles in the concept of Decent Work.

Mr Vormawor called on organised labour to advocate the ratification of conventions on the rights of workers, particularly those in the informal sector, to ensure that they also paid the minimum wage.

He also urged the labour front to engage the authorities to improve working conditions of the informal sector, and to ensure that the new pension scheme was extended to the sector.

Decent Work is defined as productive work under conditions of freedom and equity, security and dignity, in which rights are protected and adequate remuneration and social coverage are provided.

The concept is seen as a means of tackling the growing inequalities among the populace.

Source: GNA

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