Business News Wed, 22 Jan 2003

Lay-Off Threat Faces Timber Sector

Employers in the timber industry have threatened to declare a lot more of its workers redundant following government's failure to present a clear cut policy on the allocation of forest resources.

The affected stakeholders claim levies and taxes are adversely affecting the timber industry as a result of which about 30,000 workers have already lost their jobs.

Mr. Josuah Ansah, general secretary of the Timber and Wood Workers Union of TUC disclosed this at a press conference in Kumasi.

"It would surprise you to know that as I sit here a lot of fresh applications from employers are lying on my table threatening redundancies and retrenchments of a lot more workers", he said.


Ansah appealed to the government to recognise the major impact the timber industry could make on the micro-economic development of the country, if value is added to timber products to increase export receipts.

"In today's slogan of Golden Age of Business which makes the private sector the engine of growth, we call on the government to create the enabling environment to make the sector thrive", Ansah recommended.

He sounded a note of caution to employers in the timber industry to stop the laying off of permanent and casual workers and rather concentrate on finding solutions to the problems.

Ansah also called on the government to come up with a pragmatic dialogue for all stakeholders, namely government, operators and the union as soon as possible to save the industry from total collapse

Source: Chronicle