The Trades Unions Congress of Ghana (TUC) has tabled strong demands on key sectors of the Ghanaian economy before President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at a meeting at the Flagstaff House.
In his remarks at a meeting with the President Monday afternoon, the Secretary General of the TUC, Dr. Yaw Baah identified seven issues the Congress would like government to pay urgent attention to including a redundancy package for all staff to be affected by the ECG concession.
The first issue Mr. Baah raised had to do with how the tripartite committee (Government, employers, and Organized Labour led by the TUC) can work together to ensure industrial Peace. The TUC through its leadership is asking for constant dialogue between them and Government.
They also asked that the National Labour Commission be reformed including the Amendment Act (Act 651) to make all members of the commission full time workers for the Commission.
The third demand by the TUC is about the ECG concession. The TUC Secretary stated that the Labour Act (Act 651) provides that in a reorganization, such as the ECG concession, incumbent jobholders must be paid redundancy benefits.
They are therefore urging government to intervene to ensure that the Union is properly engaged so that Ghana can benefit fully from the Compact.
The TUC is also demanding that government’s plan to search for a transaction advisor for the sale of specific thermal plants owned by the Government of Ghana/ Volta River Authority cannot be supported by them. They insist that VRA is more than capable of managing these plants efficiently and effectively.
The TUC is also demanding radical reforms at the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
Amongst the reforms sort are:
a. The formation of a stakeholders committee charged with the responsibility of reviewing board decisions and operations of SSNIT.
b. In addition to annual audits, there is the need for external evaluators to evaluate SSNIT’s operations at least once every four years.
c. The appointment of Director General, Deputy Director General and senior management staff should be appointed by the Board or nominated by the board for appointment by the President.
d. The board of SSNIT should be expanded to include at least two more reps of workers and employers.
e. The Chairman of SSNIT board is appointed by government.
The fifth demand by the TUC is about second tier pension schemes for public sector workers. According to the TUC, government owes the scheme millions of Ghana cedis and that government needs to start a very serious dialogue with the public sector unions with the aim of finding a lasting solution to this problem.
The sixth demand by the TUC is for the government to prevent fake textiles from entering the country.
The seventh demand had to do with occupational health and safety. They observed that the Ministry of Employment and Labour relations completed a draft OHS bill that was supposed to be presented to cabinet in the previous administration.
They implored government to ensure that the bill is reconsidered if need be and passed into law in order to protect the working people of Ghana.