The Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU), is calling on the government to ensure adequate support for Ghanaian businesses to enable them speedily recover from the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement to mark the 2022 celebration of Workers’ Day, the ICU said the pandemic brought in its wake the reduction of production capacities, the shutdown of business operations, loss of jobs and livelihoods and salary slash among others.
It said there are still ripple effects of the pandemic on businesses that need to bounce back to support the economy.
The ICU said in line with the 2022 May Day celebration theme, ‘protecting jobs and incomes in the era of COVID-19 pandemic and beyond’, the government must make efforts to protect businesses and jobs.
“Currently, in Ghana, there is a lull in the incidence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which gives us some level of welcome relief. However, as the theme for this year’s May Day celebration suggests, we need to protect our jobs and incomes beyond the COVID-19 pandemic,” the ICU said.
The ICU suggested that the government should recapitalize struggling businesses and also provide stimulus packages to resuscitate businesses that have had to shut down.
“Businesses that are capable should recapitalize their businesses to increase their production capacity to the full for increased profitability; and for businesses that were effectively distressed by the COVID-19 pandemic and so had to completely shut down, we suggest a government stimulus package to resuscitate them to enable them to bounce back to business. This would, no doubt, enable workers to regain and protect their jobs and incomes which would in turn impact positively on the economic growth and development of our nation,” the ICU proposed.
Read the full statement below:
INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS’ UNION (ICU), GHANA, GENERAL SECRETARY’S 2022 MAY DAY MESSAGE TO MEMBERS OF THE INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS’ UNION (ICU), GHANA.
Fellow workers, my fraternal greetings to you all.
On this memorable occasion of observing International Workers’ Day of Solidarity (May Day) the 1st of May which has been dedicated in memory and celebration of our heroic comrades who, long ago on 4th of May, 1886, at the Haymarket Square in Chicago, USA where at least eight (8) trade Union activists sacrificed their lives, died and liberated workers all over the world, we as workers need to remind ourselves of the excruciating and life-threatening struggle for our liberation from the shackles of mean and callous business owners that culminated in the death of our veteran comrades, which eventually assured us of our liberty as workers, and has brought us into equal partnership with employers today, even as they provide capital for business to be established, and we (workers) provide labour for production for businesses to thrive and remain sustainable.
I am glad to say that today, by that sacrifice made by our comrades-in-labour long ago that assured workers of our freedom and liberty, we can say with a loud and clear voice that, that cruel era of undignified labour is gone, and gone for good, and that NEVER EVER shall the blatant exploitation of workers for the parochial interest and benefit of callous business owners be allowed to hold sway ever again, in the current dispensation of our hard-fought and hard-won industrial democracy that has put capital and labour on an even pedestal, as capital and labour have become partners for sustainability, productivity and profitability of business for our mutual benefit because, unlike the days of old, workers now have trade union organizations like ICU-Ghana, among others to fight for their right and dignity.
Comrades, the exigencies of the current business environment as imposed by the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, has thrusted upon both workers and employers the need for mutual sacrifices, so as to sustain businesses and to retain our jobs.
It is heart breaking that since the advent of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic some two (2) years ago, a lot of businesses that cut down on their operations to half their capacity, and others that completely shutdown, have still not fully recovered.
Similarly, a lot of workers lost their jobs thus their means of livelihood, and other workers too, who had the privilege of being retained on their jobs, had their wages/salaries slashed by half.
It is instructive to note that, the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic is still having a very serious ripple effect on the ability of businesses that were affected by the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to bounce back to business, and on the ability of workers who lost their jobs to make ends meet.
That apart, it is having a negative effect on the country’s Gross Domestic Production (GDP), thus destabilizing the national economy.
It is for this reason that the theme for the 2022 MAY DAY celebration, “protecting jobs and incomes in the era of covid-19 pandemic and beyond” could not have been more relevant and appropriate at this point of time.
Currently, in Ghana, there is a lull in the incidence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which gives us some level of welcome relief. However, as the theme for this year’s May Day celebration suggests, we need to protect our jobs and incomes beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
The big question, now is how do we do that?
In our considered opinion, businesses that are capable should recapitalize their businesses to increase their production capacity to the full for increased profitability; and for businesses that were effectively distressed by the COVID-19 pandemic and so had to completely shut down, we suggest a government stimulus package to resuscitate them to enable them bounce back to business.
This would, no doubt, enable workers to regain and protect their jobs and incomes which would in turn impact positively on the economic growth and development of our nation.
Protecting our jobs and incomes call for hardworking and sacrifices on our part as workers that could result in increased productivity and sustainability of the organization where workers earn their livelihood. But as it “takes two to tango” as the popular saying goes, we would in the same vein appeal to our social partners, to as well play the roles expected of them by placing at the disposal of workers, the necessary facilities and motivational remuneration that can incentivize workers to give of their best to achieve increased productivity and profitability for our mutual benefit.
An effective and healthy Union-Management relationship is a demonstrable attitude of agreeing to disagree on issues, so as to advance the cause of increased productivity and attainment of the organizational goals.
I would therefore like to use this occasion to admonish the two major factors of production i.e. Capital and Labour (for that matter Union/Management) to refrain from any acrimonious relationship and rather resort to consensus building on all matters relating to the survival and sustainability of the business.
On this note, I doff my hat in salutation to you, gallant and hardworking workers of Ghana, and urge you all to hold high the flag of Ghana whose image and symbol in our minds is our inspiration and our strength to continue to work harder to develop our nation for ourselves now and for generations to come.
In the same vein, I thank our social partners and all other stakeholders in the labour fraternity for your support, criticism and advice to make us better partners in our triumvirate relationship.
Ayekoo, gallant workers of Ghana!
LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL WORKERS DAY OF SOLIDARITY!
LONG LIVE GALLANT WORKERS OF GHANA!!
LONG LIVE OUR SOCIAL PARTNERS!!!
LONG LIVE MOTHER GHANA