Dr Anthony Yaw Baah (right), Secretary-General of the TUC,  presenting 10 copies of the TUC manifesto to Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice-President
Dr Anthony Yaw Baah (right), Secretary-General of the TUC, presenting 10 copies of the TUC manifesto to Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice-President
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I’ll review Labour Act to protect workers - Bawumia assures TUC

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has assured Organised Labour that he will effect the review of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) should he become President, if that was not done before the end of the year.

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That, he said, was to offer more protection to workers. He said the Labour Department was very important and that there was also the need to strengthen the National Labour Commission (NLC).

Dr Bawumia was speaking during a meeting with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) at the Trade Union Hall in Accra yesterday as part of his engagements with the various institutions and groups across the country to solicit views and proposals for the NPP manifesto.

He stressed the need to strengthen institutions of state to build a competent, ethical and fair state. The visit was the first by the Vice-President to the TUC offices and the fifth time a presidential candidate had engaged the unions since November 2023.

Development plan

Touching on the need to commit to a national development plan, the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) said the main political parties could agree, among others, to the broad contours in education, health, industrialisation and environment.

To that end, he said: “I will seek to amend Article 87 of the 1992 Constitution, as well as the NDPC Act 479 to mandate political party manifestos, economic and social policies of governments, as well as budgets to be aligned with the broad contours of specific sectors.”

Dr Bawumia said he was keen on the national development plan because every government came with new plans and that it was all about going back and forth. “With the development plan, you need consensus across a number of areas. We have about seven months to the election and I think that is what we need and I hope the other parties’ manifestos will also buy into the development plan.

“Once we all finish with the election, we can sit around the table to agree on a few areas to go into,” he proposed. Recounting his experiences as a by day worker, a warehouse boy, taxi driver, a governor and Vice-President, Dr Bawumia reiterated his reliance on the private sector as President, which he said, would be supported with incentives in all sectors to reduce government expenditure.

By doing that, he said, government borrowing would also reduce. Taking a cue from Estonia, where he visited recently, he said Ghana should move to the flat tax system, which was very transparent, simple, easy to comply with and easy to enforce.

“I believe that from 2025 Ghana should start on a clean fresh slate on a flat tax system. For so many years, many people have not filed taxes,” he stated. Responding to questions from the members of the respective unions after his speech, Dr Bawumia said he had a number of critical ways to deal with corruption, one of which was to make sure that the systems that “we put in place prevent corruption in the first place”.

“You look at us issuing the Ghana Card and making sure that the payroll is linked with the Ghana Card, ghost workers disappear from the payroll immediately you apply that system," he indicated, and mentioned SSNIT and the National Service Scheme as examples of institutions which benefited from the system.

He added that one major thing he intended to introduce was blockchain technology, which is tamper-proof and which would ensure transparency. “I believe in systems but I also believe that there must be the political will to prosecute people who are corrupt,” he stressed.

The Secretary-General of the TUC, Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, symbolically presented 10 copies of the TUC manifesto to the NPP flag bearer and said those were key policies which began with social and human development.

He said the union believed that every Ghanaian must have access to social amenities and the TUC expected leaders of the country to pursue those policies. Dr Baah also called for the amendment of the 1992 Constitution after practising it for 30 years, saying it gave too much power to the President.

He also expressed concern about the destruction of the environment through illegal mining and said the government must lead that change.

Background

The Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) regulates employment and labour issues in Ghana. The Act consolidates all laws relating to labour, employers, trade unions and industrial relations.

The NLC administers the laws related to labour and employment.

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