The National Chairman and Leader of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Prof. Edmund N. Delle, has said it will only take another CPP government to restore, revive and drive the aspiration of labour in Ghana.
That, he explained, was because the CPP best understood the plight of labour and “it will take another CPP government to restore the dignity, aspirations and drive of labour in Ghana”.
In a statement to mark Labour Day which was celebrated yesterday, Prof. Delle said since the overthrow of the CPP government till date, labour had continuously bemoaned bad working conditions, salary issues and even those pertaining to pension.
He has, therefore, urged labour to remain calm, resolute and work with the CPP to regain power to better their livelihoods.
Prof. Delle recalled that in the 1960s during the First Republic of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, theTrade Union Congress (TUC) enjoyed close affiliation with the ruling CPP.
According to the CPP leader, Dr Nkrumah saw in the workers movement a key transformatory force for society and invested heavily in it by pursuing a vigorous policy of industrialisation, job creation and education of the working class.
“The Seven-Year Development Plan and its corresponding Work and Happiness Programme were hinged on the workers movement, with education and science as the transformative force, since it gave the working class and the TUC leadership a real stake in national development and policy making,” he stated.
Until the February 1966 coup, Prof. Delle opined that dark days began in the annals of the TUC movement’s history.
That, he indicated, saw the aspirations of the trades union movement shattered, breeding several unrest and disparities in the lives of the working class.
In his view, the Seven-Year Development Plan sought to transform Ghana from a country of shopkeepers and consumers into a showpiece modern industrialised economy in Ghana and by extension, Africa—starting a period when there would be full employment and even a need to support the deficit of labour from neighbouring African countries.
The CPP’s state farms, Prof. Delle said, were to introduce modern scientific large-scale farming; and this was necessary to provide food and agricultural raw materials for agro-processing.
The Workers Brigade Programme was equally motivated by a commitment to create employment for working people, he further stated.
According to Prof. Delle, the special relationship between the trades unions and the CPP changed the industrial relations landscape from one dominated by animosity to one of cordiality, which impacted positively on working conditions, saying: “The CPP’s commitment to the welfare of workers is amply demonstrated by the number of ILO conventions adopted.”
Dr Nkrumah ratified about 34 ILO conventions, and this represented over a third of all ILO conventions ratified by Ghana to present day.