The Trade Union Congress (TUC) is asking the government to stop using COVID-19 as an excuse and review the salaries of workers upwards to help them deal with the recent economic hardships in the country.
Organized labour says recent fuel increments, coupled with the skyrocketing prices of goods and services, are taking a toll on the Ghanaian worker.
The call was made in Koforidua on May 1, during the Eastern Regional May Day Celebration under the theme “Economic recovery in an era of COVID-19: The role of social partners.”
The Eastern Regional Chairman of TUC, Augustine Micheal Owusu, demanded an increase in the salaries of workers to match the high cost of living.
The TUC Secretary, Madam Phyllis Agyemang, who touched on some general concerns of the labour unions, however, expressed the Congress’ resolve to collaborate with the government to pay more attention to grievances on the labour front.
In Tema, unions at this year’s Greater Accra Regional May Day celebration also pleaded with the government to review workers’ salaries, as well as taxes, to reduce the financial burden on the ordinary Ghanaian worker.
They argue that the pandemic has brought a lot of hardships that have worsened the living standards of the average employee.
The celebration saw several workers from different companies across the region converge at the GHACEM clubhouse in Tema to commemorate the day.
The May Day celebration, which is usually marked with a march by the workers of various public institutions, took a different turn this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s celebration in the Greater Accra Region saw some outstanding workers, who have excelled in their line of duty, being rewarded.
The Greater Accra TUC Regional Secretary, Freda Stephanie Frempong, who delivered a speech on behalf of the leadership of the unionized workers, hammered on the adverse effects of the current abnormal period and appealed to the government to take another look at workers’ salaries.
She appealed to the government to look at workers’ conditions of service, taking into consideration the consumer price index.
The Mayor of the Tema, Felix Nii Annag-La, who read a speech on behalf of the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, assured workers of the government’s commitment to cushioning businesses in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We’ll give workers their due remuneration if elected – NDC
The COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a lockdown of some parts of the country in 2020, led to a number of job losses.
However, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has promised to offer better conditions of service to workers if voted into power.
The party gave the assurance in a statement issued to workers, to mark May Day.
“We in the NDC are proud of our relationship with workers, and we do hereby encourage them to stand tall in their unflinching loyalty to the cause of Ghana. The NDC further assures all workers that a future NDC government will commit to much better handling of the economy and award them their due remuneration in recognition of their sterling role in lifting high the flag of Ghana,” the statement said.
“This is a non-negotiable assurance that we owe to workers in order to maintain their faith in the choice they have made to serve this nation for both the present and future generations.”
The party thus urged workers to give off their best in the wake of the challenges caused by the pandemic.
“In the face of the abject hopelessness generated by the appalling incompetence of the Akufo-Addo government, and compounded by the devastating onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NDC urges workers to continue to commit themselves to their work and the nation in order to lubricate the wheels of progress and development.”