The Greater Accra Regional Council of Labour branch of the Construction, Building Materials and Workers Union (CBWU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), has called for the enforcement of labour laws in view of various forms of injustice meted out to Ghanaians working for multinational construction firms in the country.
The council said that though Ghana was a signatory to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention 87 which allows freedom of association, most of the the foreign firms denied workers the right to form trade unions, did not provide protective clothes and items to workers, indulged in arbitrary dismissals, and rejected moves for increase in wages and salaries.
Addressing the council, Mr Pius Kweku Quainoo General Secretary of the CBWU stated that “The worst offenders are the Chinese companies who draw their arrogance from their home govenments’ grant given to Ghana and dismiss workers who would initiate moves to form trade unions in their companies.
“For example, should the unions initiate moves for 60 per cent wage increase Chinese employers would also demand 60 per cent retrenchment”, he said, adding that reports reaching his office indicated that the Chinese were lobbying to import cement into Ghana under the pretext that the cost of importation was cheaper than the prevailing cost of cement in the country.”
Mr Quainoo said if allowed, such a move would kill the local cement industry, and workers in that sectors would go on redundancy which would worsen the unemployment problem and affect the nation’s foreign exchange position.
He also appealed to successive governments to continue and complete projects initiated by their predecessors, saying that the “you do me I do you* syndrome did not help the nation.
Mr Henry Baah, Chairman of the Council, said the Union was in a dilemma and for that reason, members should offer pragmatic suggestions that would help confront challenges facing the union.