Business News of 2014-07-21

Strike would aggravate problem - Ghana Federation of Labour

Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) has stated that the decision by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and its allies to call a general strike (of workers) would rather aggravate the suffering of the masses.

It noted with utter dismay the approach adopted by the TUC and its allies under the aegis of Organised Labour in reaction to the escalating high cost of living and the high cost of doing business in the country.

These were contained in a statement issued by the federation and signed by its Secretary General, Mr Abraham Koomson, in reaction to the threat of the TUC to call a general strike on Thursday, July 24, 2014.

“It is obvious that the issues militating against the growth of the economy require deepened intellectual interrogation to find permanent solutions to inform successive governments about the bid and expectations of Labour.

The statement said as of now, organised labour, as provided under the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651), was not structured by labour unions, thereby preventing qualitative and authoritative co-ordination of activities of the labour movement as a mass workers’ organisation to cope with the critical responsibility of the movement.

It said realising the weakness of the existing loose alliance of the labour unions, operating under the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651), which is incapable of effectively fulfilling the historic mission of the working class, the GFL sponsored a seminar in 2008 to help establish and regularise the structure of organised labour as provided under the law.

The labour organisations, who fully participated in the programme which culminated in the development of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to consolidate organised labour, the statement said, included the Civil Servants Association, Ghana National Association of Teachers, Industrial and Commercial Workers Union. National Association of Graduate Teachers, the TUC and the Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana.

Following this, it said, a MoU was to be signed to foster collaboration among workers’ unions to monitor and ensure good governance for the benefit of the working people of Ghana and to give meaning and form to the expression “Organised Labour” as contained in the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651).

The statement said that laudable process was aborted by the TUC as it continued to hold itself up as the leader/mouthpiece of organised labour.

According to the statement, on July 17, 2014, the GFL sighted a letter signed by the TUC Secretary General and dated July 16, 2014, which informed Organised Labour of its decision to embark on a nationwide demonstration next Thursday to express indignation at the high and rising cost of living, poor management of the Ghanaian economy and recent hikes in prices of petroleum products.

The decision, according to the statement, was arrived at by a nine-member committee dominated by the TUC with five and one each from Ghana Medical Association, Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana National Association of Teachers and the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union.

It said the GFL was not invited to any of such meetings organised by the TUC. Whereas GFL had no place in the constituted so-called Planning Committee, the TUC had five (5) places on the nine-member committee.

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