The Volta Secretary of the Ghana Trades Union Congress, Mr Elvis Van, has on Tuesday reaffirmed organized labour’s commitment to defend and uphold the democratic tenets of the nation by ensuring that every individual participate in decision-making process.
He noted that productivity of can only be enhanced in a peaceful and democratic atmosphere, he therefore called on politicians to conduct their campaigns based on issues devoid of personality attacks and character assassinations in order not to jeopardize the peace and security of the nation during this electioneering period.
He urged the citizens to focus on candidates whose ideas will improve incomes and give access to housing, education, health, electricity, water and sanitation.
He also challenged the media to exercise circumspection in their reportage and highlight the important issues that directly affect the livelihood of people on the national agenda while helping to banish the politics of trivialities.
Mr Elvis Van-Lare, gave the speech behalf Mr. Kofi Asamoah TUC General Secretary at this year’s Regional May Day celebrations at Hohoe on the theme: “Election 2012: The Role of Workers in Securing Peaceful and Fair Elections.”
He commended Government and the Fair Wages Salary Commission for the migration of some workers onto the SSSS but noted that the agitations and industrial actions associated with the exercise indicated the inability of the SSS to address the low pay syndrome that has characterized the public sector.
He therefore appealed to the government and employers to support the organization in its quest for a living wage.
He stated that organized labour would not compromise on workers’ rights and warned that employers would not be allowed to take undue advantage of the high level of joblessness to cheat employees.
Mr. Van Lare also expressed worry about the unemployment situation in the country and called on government to create decent jobs for the citizenry.
According to him, Joblessness among the youth constituted the biggest challenge to national peace and development, saying that the surest way of improving the living conditions of people was to ensure that economic growth and its associated macroeconomic stability translated into the creation of good quality jobs for the people.
Mr Henry Ford Kamel, the Volta Regional Minister on his part said Government had recognised the technical challenges encountered in the implementation of the SSSS and assured that Government would be sensitive to the plight of workers in the public sector as far as the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSSS) was concerned.
He also announced that, government will from May this year begin paying the 18% increment on the SSSS.
He reiterated that continuous dialogue between labour, management and Government was crucial for creating and sustaining peaceful, harmonious and trustworthy industrial relations.
He said Government expected organised labour and employers to use the established institutions to resolve labour matters.
He said notwithstanding the meaningful achievement of the Ghanaian labour force, the attitude and conduct of some workers leave much to be desired.
“They exhibit indiscipline, lack of commitment, disrespect for authority, corruption, laziness, and lateness to work and are prepared to defend their inefficiency and incompetence at any cost,” Mr Kamel said.
He said: “Meaningful sustainable economic development demands of us to eschew such negative tendencies that would affect high productivity and quality service delivery. The destiny of this country is in our hands. We must therefore create the enabling environment for the Better Ghana that we crave for.”
Mr Kamel also indicated that the theme for the celebrations was timely because peaceful, fair and successful elections could not happen in a nation without the active contribution and involvement of workers at each stage of the electioneering process.
He therefore called on workers to condemn acts that could trigger civil strife and unrest, by self-seeking political activists.
Awards were presented to Seventeen workers for their commitment and dedication to nation-building, and they received items including gas burners, refrigerators, fans and certificates.
The workers clad in their various union shirts earlier marched through some principal streets of Hohoe, holding placards with messages like “Politicians watch your okra mouth”, “Government stop the brain drain”, “Vote wisely with your thumps and not tongue”, “Workers need more pay”, “Workers are suffering” “Prez Mills, times are hard”, “No one is above the law,” among others.
Click link and listen to Elvis-Van_Lare & Henry Ford_Kamel’s Speeches