TUC strike will lead to job loss - Joseph Osei Yeboah
The only Independent Presidential Candidate in the 2012 election, Jacob Osei Yaboah, has condemned the decision by leadership of organized labour, particularly the Trade Union Congress, to embark on a series of demonstrations culminating in an industrial strike come November 18.
According to him, TUC’s latest decision was one that is intended to satisfy the parochial interest of the leadership of organized labor than the interest of the generality of workers because their action may compel government to lay off about fifty percent of public sector workers for lack of funds to meet their demands.
In an interview with The Al-Hajj in Accra yesterday, Osei Yeboah explained that, considering the difficult situation the country finds itself, it will be important for organized labor to team up with government to come out of the difficulties than plan series of strike actions to exacerbate the situation, which he said will eventually affect the workers and not their leadership.
“We all know that the country is facing some difficulties, but that does not mean we leave everything to government to do, we all have to help the government; this is time for great thinkers in the country to bring out solutions not to declare strikes. We are all complaining about tariff hikes, which I also believe is unbearable but the way the leadership of TUC is going in respect of the tariff adjustment, they are only pushing government to lay off about 50% of workers, and I’m saying this because a similar situation happened in Italy, Greece and other European countries when they faced challenges with their economy,” he added.
The failed Presidential candidate revealed that, though public workers only form about 2.8% of the 25 million people in the country, they take about 74% of government revenue and yet “they are not satisfied and are demanding that government gives them more…and if you look at countries like Italy and Greece when they were faced with difficulties, they laid off some workers in the public sector, so if the workers do not wise up and they follow their leadership, we are likely to experience such a situation in Ghana.”
Organized labour, led byTUC, has announced a series of industrial actions that will eventually culminate in a full blown strike on November 18, 2013 following the failure of government to meet the almost two weeks ultimatum given by organized labor to reduce the price of utility tariffs recently announced.
But Mr. Osei Yeboah warned the leadership of the various labour organizations to rethink their position, saying government alone cannot be blamed entirely for the problem that the country finds itself.
“The leadership of TUC and its members are also part of the problem we are facing as a country…they are the same people who aid some unpatriotic Ghanaians and foreigners to invade tax, if government does not generate the needed revenue, where do they expect the government to get money to pay their salaries? In any case, has TUC organized any symposium to advise it members not to connive with people to deny government revenue?” He quizzed.
According to him, the current circumstance the country finds itself presents an opportunity for all opposition parties to present their policy programs on how to solve the problem, stressing “this is the time that all the opposition parties must stop the bashing of government and present an alternative policy program on what they would have done if they found themselves in the shoes of government.”
He said when Italy and Greece faced similar changes, they laid off a number of workers whiles the leadership of the organized labor groups hanged on to their post, and ‘this is where I call on the workers to wise-up because they will be the victims of this move by their leaders.”