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General News Sat, 28 Apr 2001

Government losing fair share of taxes ... Quainoo

Mr P. M. K. Quainoo, General Secretary of the Construction and Building Workers Union (BWU) said on Friday that government is losing substantial revenue from the construction industry because the contract tender procurement document lacks certain relevant clauses.

He said if government fails to incorporate the Core Labour Standards including International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention 94 into the terms of reference and final agreement of all contracts, most of the construction workers would not have conditions of service that would enable them to pay income taxes.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on anomalies in the construction industry, Mr Qauinoo said the absence of the clauses would provide lucrative avenues for contractors to dodge payment of Social Security contributions of workers.

He said if the anomaly continues it would pose a great danger to society because the large number of unskilled and temporary workers would become a liability to the state in their old age because they are not covered by any social security.

The clauses include ILO convention on freedom of association and protection to the right to organise, right to collective bargaining and equal remuneration.

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Mr Quainoo said the clause makes the cost of implementing it inclusive in the contract and cited the British Department for International Development (DFID) as one organisation, which has incorporated such clauses in all its contract agreements in its feeder road projects.

He suggested that a forum of all stakeholders in the construction industry be initiated to discuss and find solution to problems confronting the industry.

He said construction has become one of the dangerous economic activities in terms of health and safety risks and called on government to ratify ILO convention 167 of 1998 which deals with health and safety in the industry.

Its adoption would minimise the incidence of accidents, injuries and fatal death.

Mr Quainoo appealed to construction workers who are not in any organised group to voluntarily contact the union so that together they would find solution to their problems.

Source: GNA
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