General News of Monday, 28 July 2014
Source: Daily Guide
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Old Tafo in the Ashanti Region, and a ranking member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei has hailed the nationwide protest by organised labour on Thursday. He was however quick to add that the protest was belated, considering how the economic situation in the country had gone haywire.
“I think the Trades Union Congress’ protest was long overdue, because all these economic hardships have been with us for a long time since the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) took over power in 2009?, Dr Akoto Osei told DAILY GUIDE in an interview.
He warned that by all available indications the economic hardship was going to worsen because there was a strong possibility that petroleum prices and utility bills would still go up whiles the cedi would continue to lose its value.
He said if the leadership of TUC wanted better standards of living for Ghanaian workers, then they should be more proactive and sensitive to the plight of Ghanaian workers.
“I am a bit surprised that in some situations, the TUC seems to be fighting for the welfare of workers but in the long run makes a U-turn,” he said. He pointed out that when it came to the sale of Merchant Bank and the Atuabo Port, the TUC strongly objected but later backed-down on its stand.
He expressed hope that government would feel the ‘people’s frustrations, sufferings and anger’ at the fast deterioration of the country’s economy and quickly fix it.
The NDC’s Member of Parliament for South Tongu, Kobena Mensah Woyome, also told DAILY GUIDE on Thursday that the protest by organised labour was not necessary.
He said he would have participated in the protest if leadership could have assured that the protest would help change the current economic situation overnight.
“I believe the leadership of organised labour resorted to the wrong approach to solving the current challenges facing the nation,” he said.
He added that the leadership should have educated workers on the current economic challenges and advised workers to patronise made-in-Ghana goods which would help free the pressure on the cedi.
“The current economic situation which the TUC is demonstrating against is global, with most nations also feeling the same pinch,” he said.
The MP pointed out that the reduction in the prices of cocoa and gold on the world market had been a contributory factor since the country had lost over $1.2 billion due to those reductions.
He was of the view that money could have been injected into the local economy to turn things around.