President Mills assure workers of government’s support
President John Evans Atta Mills has given the assurance that that Government would continue to provide Ghanaians with an enabling environment for them to get decent work that would give them better remuneration.
He said government recognized the important role of workers in national development and would continue to partner with organized labour to initiate strategies, to address workers’ concerns to improve upon their working conditions and welfare.
President Mills was addressing workers at the Tamale Jubilee Park to mark this year’s May Day, on Sunday.
He stressed the need for industrial peace and harmony so that the country could continue to make economic progress to the benefit of the people.
President Mills later visited the Tamale Teaching Hospital, to console members of the airborne force, who were part of his entourage that got involved in an accident.
The convoy was returning from Sandema where the President had attended the funeral of the late Nab Dr Ayieta Azantilow, Paramount chief of the Builsa Traditional Area.
Mr. Kofi Asamoah, Secretary-General of the Ghana Trades Union Congress, in an address read on his behalf, said the huge decent work deficit in the country was not good for the country’s democracy.
He and that democratic governance could not be sustained in a situation where large sections of the population lived in poverty.
Mr Asamoah said if democracy failed to deliver decent work and improved standards, the people could easily lose confidence in the political system adding: “Democracy and good governance should be translated into benefits and real improvement in the standard of living of the people”.
He said street hawking had become a survival strategy in the absence of decent jobs and was a reflection of employment policy failure and the failure of macro-economic policies in the country in general to deal with the huge decent work deficit.
Mr Asamoah said the outcome of the mapping of the public sector workers unto the Single Spine Salary Structure clearly showed that the level of pay in the public sector was still low and required a further review if workers were to see real benefits in the new pay policy.
He said: “We would like to reiterate organized labour’s position that in order to improve productivity we should first improve wages. Employers should invest in training of their workers and pay them well”, he said.
Recalling the recent accident at the Western Steel and Forgings Company in Tema, Mr Asamoah called on Government, employers and workers to pay maximum attention to occupational safety and health.
He also asked Government to resource the factories inspectorate and labour department to enable officials to discharge their duty as part of the decent work agenda for sustainable socio-economic development.
Mr Asamoah appealed to the authorities not to renew the contract with Aqua Vitens Rand Limited (AVRL), a water company, which according to him failed to deliver water to urban communities for which it was contracted.
He called for appropriate sanctions against the company, saying “AVRL must go”.
Mr Moses Bukari Mabengba, Northern Regional Minister, assured workers that Government would continue to consult organized labour and the fair Wages and Salary Commission to ensure equity in remuneration for equal work value.