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Business News Tue, 22 Jun 2004

TUC seeks long-term savings for workers

Koforidua, June 22, GNA - The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has proposed the establishment of a long-term savings scheme to supplement workers' Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) pensions and to meet emergencies.

It is the view of the Congress that, if the proposal were accepted, it would go a long way to enhance workers' living conditions during retirement "since even our full current pay is not able to meet most of our basic needs."

The Secretary General of the TUC, Mr Kwasi Adu Amankwa, who announced this when he addressed a two-day meeting of the Eastern Regional Council of Labour at Koforidua on Monday, said the time had come for workers to develop the "passion for individual and collective efforts to generate additional incomes to support our living conditions instead of looking up to only the SSNIT pension or the government." Commenting on the current agitation by teachers and civil servants for the extension of the "CAP 30" to cover them, he said what the TUC was seeking was the enhancement of salaries and wages to boost the lump sum and pensions paid to retired contributors by the SSNIT.

On the TUC's position on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Secretary General who commended the policy, however, said the TUC was holding discussions with the Ghana Employers Association to design a Private Mutual Health Scheme for its membership based on the existing medical provisions in their conditions of service. On the forthcoming elections, Mr Adu Amankwa urged workers to take advantage of the period to demand from politicians what they could to improve their living conditions instead of accepting cash offers from them to influence their choice in voting.

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He reminded the Regional Councils of the up-coming TUC quadrennial congress in August, this year, and asked them to study the draft mid-term policies of the TUC to enable them to make inputs to enrich it before adoption at the congress.

The Eastern Regional Secretary of the TUC, Mrs Francisca Borkor Bortey, in her welcoming address, expressed concern about reports of the refusal of mine workers to join trade unions by their foreign employers in the region and warned that the TUC would not sit unconcerned but to see to it that the new labour laws on the rights of workers were scrupulously respected.

She called on the District Councils of Labour to get involved in the anti-HIV/AIDS and Roll Back Malaria campaigns to save their members from the effects of the diseases on their working life.

Source: GNA
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