How regions celebrated May Day

Ghana yesterday joined the rest of the world to celebrate this year’s May Day. While the national celebration was held at Bolgatanga, the Upper East capital, the regions marked the day at their various ceremonial grounds to honour workers for their contributions to nation building.

Staff of Interplast marching
Staff of Interplast marching

We bring to our readers, reports from our regional correspondent, the events as was captured by them.

At Black Star Square in Greater Accra,Anita Nyarko-Yirenkyi reports that workersparaded with placards with inscriptions such as“We toil to save to have a better life after pension.Don’t touch our pensions funds,” “Improve school infrastructure to decongest classrooms,” “Increase base pay to reflect current commodity price,” “Don’t kill our future, pay our SSNIT contribution and we need decent jobs amidst drumming and dancing.

It was on the theme “Protecting incomes and Pensions in an era of Economic Crisis: Our responsibility”

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Henry Quartey, who represented President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo stated that government was taking several measures to protect the Ghanaian worker.

“On our part as government we very much appreciate the efforts and sacrifices of labour and will not downplay this in any way. We would like to reiterate our commitment to ensure that the Ghanaian worker is well catered for in spite of the challenges,” he added.

He said “Organised Labour alluded to the fact that the national daily minimum wage of GHC14.88 is less than the international poverty line of US$1.90 per day.  There is high informal economy and low earning within that sector, low public sector wages among other issues.  Indeed, you have asserted further that there are low wages and high cost of living.

“You have also indicated that in the case of wages and salaries, pensions in Ghana are affected by high levels of inequities and that it will take nearly 50 years for the least paid pensioner to earn the monthly pension pay out to the highest paid pensioner.”

The Minister assured the workers that the government was committed to the reforms to ensure better wages and salaries and pensions for the Ghanaian worker.

As part of the occasion awards were presented to workers in Greater Accra for their meritorious service to the process of trade union work over the years

This year’s Workers Day parade in the Volta Regional capital was held at the Jubilee Park after marching through the principal streets of the city, reports Lawrence Markwei in Ho.

The Regional Secretary for Oti and the Volta regions of Trade Union Congress (TUC),MsEdith AmenuvorAfewu, in her message lamented the economic woes visited on workersthrough gross mismanagement of the economy with inflation running high.

She said the economic situation has become so dire that,only the International Monetary Fund bailouts seem to be the only avenue to bail the country out of the crisis.

MsAfewu asked government to form an economic crisis team to roll out a consensus on the economic challenges in the country.

Dr Archibald Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister, delivering his message on behalf of the President pleaded with workers leadership to see eye to eye in their engagement with government on the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme adding that it was one of the programmes to help get the nation out of its current crisis.

He said the government would short change any worker or their Union in the exchange programme since it was a win-win engagement.

MrLetsa said that,government was committed to workers’ job sustainability and would continue to deliver the necessary tools and logistics to ensure enhance productivity.

From Tamale YahayaNuhu Dadaa reports that the Northern Regional Minister, AlhajiShaniAlhassanShaibu, has reaffirmed government’s commitment of seeing to the welfare of workers in the country.

He said the contribution of workers and enormous sacrifices over the years towards the development of this country cannot be over emphasised.

The minister made the statement in Tamale yesterday at this year’s May Daycelebration.

He said the celebration of the May Day was tocommemorate the struggles the forerunners waged in order to give dignity at the work places.

“It is recalled that in the 17th and 18th centuries, workers had to work between 16 to 18 hours without rest – they had “no mouth” to express their views or voice to air their concerns at the work place.

“On the plantations, the situation was even worse; it was one of master-servant relationship.  Today, the work place is relatively free – you can express your views and air your concerns, but the struggle has not ceased, the struggle is on and has taken a new dimension,” he added.

Alhaji Shaibu added that a highly competitive global changing goods and services market, employers and workers must not be at the opposite sides of the struggle.  

He stated that, they must comparatively work together in tandem to raise the level of productivity and the quality of their products in other for institutions or organisations to become more competitive to sustain the job.

The Minister added that this could not be achieved unless there exist mutual respect and trust in the relationship at the workplace.  

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