General News of 2014-06-24

Finance workers to strike over VAT

Finance workers represented by the Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance Workers (UNICOF) have resolved to embark on an industrial action next week unless government suspends the proposed implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) on financial services.
This was contained in a letter addressed to the Managing Directors of 12 banks, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, the President of Ghana Association of Bankers, and the Executive Secretary of National Labour Commission.
The strike notice dated June 23, 2014 and signed by the UNICOF General Secretary, John Esiape, has the heading, “Notice To Embark On Strike: Non-Consultation With The Unions/Workers On The Implementation Of Vat On Financial Services And Its Implications On Jobs.”
The letter is also copied to The Secretary General, Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), The General Secretary, Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), the General Secretaries of all TUC Affiliated Unions, and the Chairman/Secretary of Tema District Council of Labour.
According to the letter, the National Union's attention has been drawn to various publications regarding the proposed introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) on financial services.
However, the Union is of the view that such changes should be discussed at the Standing Negotiating Committee level in order for the parties to appreciate and agree on the implications of the policy relative to performance and job losses among others, but government has not done so.
"We are of the view that such changes should be discussed at the Standing Negotiating Committee level in order for the parties to appreciate and agree on the implications of the policy relative to performance and job losses among others, but this is not the case.
"Consequently, we wish to request that implementation of the VAT on financial services be suspended pending discussions between management of the Banks (possibly represented by the Ghana Association of Bankers) and the Unions".
The letter said since the required seven (7) days' notice to embark on a strike has been fulfilled, the Union would take the industrial action should their interest in this matter be ignored.