One of the most important days for workers across the world is May Day, and as it approaches next Monday, there’s no doubt that events in many places will touch on various relevant issues such as the negative effect of unemployment on young people and how to reduce discontent on the labour front.
The matter of jobs was a major topic for discussion by the various parties in the run-up to last December’s general election. All sorts of views came up on measures that could be applied to reduce the seemingly increasing numbers of the unemployed.
It is quite clear that the issue touches raw nerves anytime it is raised and divergent opinions on it have made headlines in recent days.
While politicians still try to raise hopes that a lot is being done to better the unemployment situation, some of those directly affected have started picketing outside government offices to demonstrate their anger and frustration. To put it plainly, all is not quiet on the labour front.
The theme for the May Day celebration in this country this year is: ‘Ghana@60: Mobilising for Ghana’s Future Through the Creation of Decent Jobs.’ Information from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has indicated that parades will be held in all 10 regions of the country.
Such parades have come off over the years and workers have used them to air grievances of various sorts. It means there are always important worker-related matters that need solutions at all times and that is not limited to this country alone.
In several places, leaders have been trumpeting how to preserve jobs for their nationals and the pronouncements have sometimes led to near friction between nations.
That’s why many Ghanaians are eager to hear what President Akufo-Addo, the Special Guest of Honour, would say at the national parade scheduled for the Black Star Square on Monday. Some of his pronouncements, since coming into office, appear to point to an era where labour matters would be seriously dealt with to help improve lives across the board.
Obviously, it is early days yet to fairly assess what he and his team have on the ground in that direction, but some issues stick out that must definitely be urgently looked at. Strikes eventually hurt everyone and we hope this regime would constantly explore all means to avert them.
The matter of ‘’ghost names’’ on government payroll never seems to go away. We reckon the way to go about it is for the state to dialogue with relevant institutions and not take a confrontational stance on the matter. Such an attitude sometimes tends to hurt genuine workers.
So many young people are coming out of our tertiary institutions every year and they all need to work to earn a living. It is gratifying to note that some establishments have taken it upon themselves to help the graduates think of how to create employment for themselves and not look up to the government all the time.
A lot of the youth have talents that need to be honed into income-generating abilities. Once they are encouraged not to form unemployed graduates associations but rather think outside the box to make life better for themselves, the more progress we are bound to encounter in this country.
As we mark May Day again this year, we urge all relevant institutions, both state and private, as well as individuals, to cooperate in the creation of a peaceful and efficient labour front for us all.