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General News of Monday, 28 April 2014

Source: tv3network.com

Labour must be concerned about economy – Presidency

A Presidential staffer, Dr. Michael Kpessah Whyte, has chastised Organised Labour over its demand of a pay rise from government ahead of Thursday’s May Day celebration.

Organised Labour is reported to have given government until Thursday, May 1 to complete negotiation on this year’s daily minimum wage.

“We want all negotiations on the minimum wage and the base pay [to] finish before May Day,” warned Dr. Kofi Asamoah, the Secretary General of the Ghana Trades Union Congress, at a pre-Workers’ Day forum held in Tema last week. “We are sending a strong signal out there. We cannot afford this high cost of living with the current wages and salaries.”

But speaking on TV3’s Midday Live on Monday, Dr. Kpessah Whyte said government is not only concerned about the welfare of workers in the country “but also the welfare of the generality of Ghanaians.”

He conceded that the country’s economy is riddled with challenges and stated that government is extremely concerned.

“Labour is expected to be equally concerned,” he stated.

Dr. Kpessa Whyte said that, under the current circumstances, government expects labour to approach negotiations with “well persuasive arguments so that it benefits everybody.”

The Research Fellow at the Institute of African Studies of University of Ghana was concerned the “only time people hear about labour is about salaries and allowances.”

He said already government has gone beyond the threshold of what labour must get from the national cake and so asking for more is putting at a disadvantage other sectors like health, transport and education.

Labour Expert Senyo Adjabeng was worried Organised Labour is issuing threats while negotiations have not concluded yet.

“It is not generally appropriate for negotiations to go on and one party gets up to offer threats to the other party,” he mentioned, stressing that Organised Labour must make their arguments at the negotiation table.

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