Regions mark Labour Day
Workers in the Upper West Region have called on the government to ensure that the review of the Labour Law is completed and brought into action by the end of this year.
They said that the current situation allowed employers to hire and fire workers on their whims and caprices.
Addressing the durbar of workers during the 2023 May Day celebration at Nandom, the Upper West Regional Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Godwin Gariba, said due to this, the TUC had lost more than 1,000 workers over the years.
Mr Gariba also lamented the case of a Chinese company that dismissed workers “without just cause” and subjected staff to various forms of inhuman treatment.
He further called for the review of income policies across the board for all workers.
“We will no longer continue to tolerate the situation where Article 71 beneficiaries enjoy a huge benefit when the ordinary workers continue with meagre salaries that will not carry them home,” he said.
The Paramount Chief of Nandom Traditional Council, Naa Prof. Edmund Nminyem Delle Chiir VIII, who led the workers in a three-kilometre procession before the durbar, commended the Regional Coordinating Council for bringing the celebration to the area.
Naa Prof. Delle Chiir appealed to the Regional Minister, Hafiz Bin Salih, to carry out the message to the government so that efforts were made to improve the lot of workers.
In a speech read by the Regional Coordinating Director, Peter Maala, Dr Bin Salih gave assurance that the government was committed to ensuring that workers were well taken care of.
The minister said the recent cut in government benefits was evidence that the government was a listening one.
He called on workers to reciprocate government’s goodwill by working harder to improve productivity.
Outstanding workers were honoured at the event for their services.
In all, 11 deserving workers received a television set and an award shield each.
Alberto Mario Noretti reports from the Ho Jubilee Park that a power outage during the early stages of the May Day celebration caused no worry among the large gathering of workers.
Instead, it set up a free and long borborbor dance session that brought the Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa; the Ho Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Divine Bosson; Agotime Ziope District Chief Executive (DCE), Emily Adzimah; the Central Tongu DCE, Moore Zonyira; and the Biakoye DCE, Millicent Kabuki Carboo, to join the dance floor.
The programme continued smoothly with the scheduled parade by the various labour unions when power was restored after 30 minutes.
Addressing the workers, Dr Letsa pointed out that nations which had stood strong over decades and centuries were not without economic challenges and conflicts, but they instead enjoyed the support, cooperation, commitment and industrious contributions of their citizens.
He said while labour would expect the government to protect incomes and pensions, government expected the cooperation of workers’ unions in the implementation of policies to lift the country out of economic crisis.
“The government would want to count on the unflinching support of labour in the implementation of the Domestic Exchange Programme,” the Regional Minister added.
Earlier, the Ho MCE gave an assurance that the assembly would continue to work with the private sector, labour unions and civil society to ensure that workers were well rewarded and protected at their workplaces.
Mr Bosson said the assembly would create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive to create employment opportunities for the people.
From Nkoranza in the Bono East Region, Biiya Mukusah Ali reports that hundreds of workers from Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions converged on the Nkoranza Children's Park to mark this year's May Day celebration.
The Bono Regional Minister, Justina Owusu-Banahene, joined the Bono East Regional Minister, Kwasi Adu-Gyan, to celebrate workers from the three regions for their hard work and contributions to the economy.
The workers held placards with messages such as "reduce inflation rate”, “do not touch our pensions fund”, “Mr President revive the economy”, “Mr President save our businesses from collapsing”, and “reduce utility tariffs”.
Awards were presented to some workers for their services.
Mr Adu-Gyan reminded workers that enterprises could hardly thrive in an environment of antagonism, hostility, mistrust and adversity.
He said industrial disputes affected productivity, profit, workers’ incomes and by extension pension contribution.
He urged workers to also endeavour to open transparent channels of communication at all levels of their enterprises to promote workplace cooperation and harmony, saying these were necessary conditions for sustainable enterprises, wealth creation and higher living standards.
Mr Adu-Gyan encouraged workers to work hard to increase productivity so as to provide the basis for increase of salary levels and payment of a “living wage”.
He appealed to workers to continue to sharpen their skills in order to be relevant to the ever changing labour market.
He explained that superior skill enhanced labour productivity, general quality of service delivery and product manufactured, saying these were key features in income generation and gain sharing.
From Shirley Asiedu-Addo, Saltpond, hundreds of unionised workers in the Central Region marked the May Day at the Victory Park.
In an address, the Central Regional Minister, Justina Marigold Assan, while commending workers for their contributions to the development of the country, urged them to put away lackadaisical attitudes and to join hands to bring the country out of its current economic situation.
Mrs Assan said workers must support with a renewed sense of commitment to promote growth once the country was not out of the woods.
The Regional Secretary of the TUC, Cynthia Ananoo, said government must reduce spending and reduce the size of government to save the country from the negative effects it would have on the country.
She said workers must see a commitment from government to solve the country’s economic challenges.