Government to review Labour Safety Act – Veep

The Government has tasked the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare to review the Factory, Shops and Industry Act 328 to provide occupational safety to all Ghanaian workers, Vice President John Dramani Mahama has announced.

Addressing workers at the May Day Parade on Sunday at the Independence Square, he said the revision and implementation of the Act would compel employers to provide ample safety measures to protect workers.

It would also empower governmental authorities to punish employers who flout the law.

The celebration attracted labour unions and workers from both the public and private sectors with workers wielding placards, some of which read: ”May Day Without Pay;” “Mr President Railway Workers Salute You for Your Work so Far;” “No Good Pay, No Elections 2012;” and “Single Spine Pay, Too Small.”

It was also attended by government officials, made up of Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, Ms Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry, Nii Armah Ashietey, Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Antwi Bosiako-Sekyere, Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and Mr Alfred Vanderpuye, Mayor of Accra.

Vice President Mahama said the rate at which disasters were befalling Ghanaian workers was unacceptable and gave the assurance that the review of the Act 328 would provide adequate powers to sanction defaulters.

He said the migration of 33 public institutions onto the single spine salary structure was an indication of government’s commitment to improve on the remunerations and general terms and conditions of Ghanaian workers.

The Vice President said the government would soon come out with measures that would bridge the yawning gender disparity in the public sector and called on organised labour and various gender advocates to support government with the necessary information that would achieve that goal.

He expressed the government’s condolence to families of workers who recently died in a Tema steel company and gave the assurance that the government would strengthen the Inspectorate Division of Ministry of the Employment and Social Welfare to avoid similar incidents.

The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Decent Work for Sustainable Economic Decelopment.”

Mr Kofi Asamaoah, Secretary General of Ghana Trades Congress Union, said more than 50 percent of workers in Ghana do not enjoy decent salaries, a situation, he said, was a total departure from the demands of the International Labour Organization laws passed in 1999 on decent jobs and decent salaries.

The Secretary General, therefore, appealed to the government to develop the necessary infrastructure that would improve on workers’ salaries to increase productivity in the public sector.

Mr Asamoah called on employers, particularly those in the private sector, to allow their employees to join unions of their choice to enable them to bargain for better working conditions.

He attributed the high rate of hawking in the major cities of the country to lack of employment and appealed to the government to open up job opportunities for the teeming youth from the tertiary institutions.

He called on politicians and civil society organizations to exhibit maturity in their campaigns by avoiding politics of lies, insults and attacks.

Source: GNA

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