Today is May Day, a day set aside to honour workers who have worked relentlessly for the betterment of life for all around the world. Ordinarily, Ghanaian workers use such an occasion to make their views, frustrations and perturbations known within the democratic boundaries of the country.
It is expedient to note that democracy matures over a period, as the varied experiences of the people altogether help shape democratic practice.
Therefore, as a country, we must allow our collective experiences to guide us as we all contribute our quota to building a vibrant democratic state.
A good number of our compatriots living today recount different experiences under different governments in the years past.
There is likely to be yet a younger crop who are currently students of the processes that have combined to make Ghana what it is now.
During May Day parades, workers carry banners and placards that mainly voice their concern over their working conditions and issues that affect workers’ welfare and productivity. This action buttresses a feature of our democracy: that demonstrations, protests and the likes are effective ways of expressing grievances, though they may not be the best means of registering our protest over government’s actions or inaction.
In the past, there had been measures and actions taken by various labour groups to press home their demand for improvement in their working conditions, especially remuneration that would consequently enhance life in retirement, as well as ensure decent working conditions for those employed in the formal sector.
For some years now, following the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP), the labour front has not been spared pockets of turbulence. Currently, newly qualified nurses have locked horns with the government over their posting; the Judicial Service staff are waiting for their demands to be met, while some teacher associations have expressed their displeasure at the way the SSNIT biometric registration is being carried out. All these issues can ruffle the labour front if they are not handled well.
It is expected these issues and others are what labour will be interested in hearing something about as the President addresses the national workers’ parade in Accra today.
This is the first under the Akufo-Addo administration which has made commitments to better the lot of the Ghanaian worker.
The government is still in its early days and would need national support to place its policies and programmes into the right perspective to produce the desired results.
The Daily Graphic encourages Ghanaians to, on the first celebration of May Day under the new administration, go about the event in a manner devoid of any political colorisation and make way for a concerted national development agenda in whose benefit we will all share when it blossoms.
In the light of this, the Daily Graphic urges both the government and workers to maintain a general aura of cool headedness in examining each other’s propositions, so that there will be a win-win ending to all negotiations.
The Daily Graphic wishes all workers and their families a Happy Workers Day.