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Workers will get fair deal in ongoing negotiations — Labour Minister

BY: Shirley Asiedu Addo
Ignatius Baffour-Awuah (right), Minister of Employment and Labour Relations
Ignatius Baffour-Awuah (right), Minister of Employment and Labour Relations

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, has said that the government will ensure negotiations for workers end in a fair deal for all parties.

He said the leadership of both the government and labour had demonstrated goodwill and commitment to ensure there was an amicable closure to ongoing negotiations on salary increment.

While Labour unions want a 60 per cent increment for 2023, the government is proposing an 18 per cent increase.

Mr Baffour-Awuah said that although workers deserved better “for the work that they do, we do so looking at the resources that are available to us and that should be shared by all”.

He was speaking at the 14th quadrennial delegates congress of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG), in Cape Coast, the Central regional capital, yesterday.

The six-day congress, which is on the theme: “Introducing SMEs as an avenue for self-sufficiency,” is being attended by about 1,000 delegates from across the country.

There will also be election of new executive officers for the association.

Inadequate resources

According to Mr Baffour-Awuah, negotiations between the government and labour unions were taking long because they were yet to reach a consensus because resources were relatively inadequate.

He, however, expressed optimism that at the end of the day, they would agree on something which would be realistic to both parties.

Mr Baffour-Awuah advised workers to upgrade themselves by learning new skills to remain relevant in the ever-changing world of work, while urging them to give their best for the accelerated development of the country.

He commended the leadership of labour unions for their stewardship over the years that had ensured a peaceful labour space.

A Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Michael Okyere Baafi, said there were many opportunities available for startups and, therefore, encouraged workers to establish small businesses alongside work to enhance their living standards.

Collaboration

The President of CLOGSAG, Dr Evans Agbeme Dzikum, said the days of constant strikes were over, and that the association would continue to work with all stakeholders to sustain the prevailing labour harmony in the country.

He said the association would strive for the wellbeing of members as it had put in place some measures to achieve that objective, including a decision to construct a 16-storey facility in Accra soon.

For their part, the heads of the Civil Service and the Local Government Service, Nana Agyekum Dwamena and Dr Nana Ato Arthur, pledged to work with the leadership of the unions to ensure better salaries, prompt promotions and development.

There were also fraternal messages from representatives of other sister labour organisations.