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General News of Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Source: GNA

Ghana Trades Union Congress announces 2011 May Day theme

Takoradi, April 13, GNA - This year's May Day, which falls on Sunday, will be celebrated under the theme: 93Decent Work for Sustainable Economic Development", Mr Kofi Asamoah, Secretary General of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) announced on Wednesday. Addressing a meeting of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Council of Labour at Takoradi, he said the Day would be observed with national, regional and district parades even though it falls on a Sunday.

He said the Union had lined up activities including health walk and symposia to galvanized workers for the celebration. Mr Asamoah said the objectives of the decent work agenda are employment creation, workers' rights, social protection and social dialogue.

He said poverty reduction depended on these factors and the fight against corruption.

Mr Asamoah said equity could, however, be realized through effective involvement of all in the decision making and fair and balanced distribution of the fruits of growth. He said the idea of improving living standards through decent work had always been the aim of the struggles of the Trades Union movement.

Mr Asamoah said the huge national decent work deficit was not good for the country's democracy because democratic governance could not be sustained where large sections of the population live in poverty.

"If democracy fails to deliver decent work and improved living standards, the people could easily lose confidence in the political system," he said.

Mr Asamoah said it was, therefore, important that all social partners, government, workers and employers took decent work seriously. He said democracy and good governance should be translated into benefits and real improvement in the standard of living of the people. Mr Asamoah said although job creation occupied an important position in the manifesto of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the government had not taken concrete steps to address the huge unemployment situation in the country. He called on the Government to take the necessary steps to facilitate the creation of decent jobs for the people especially the youth.

Mr Asamoah said the outcry against the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) clearly showed that the quantum of pay in the public sector was still low and needed some review for real benefits of the new pay policy to be felt.

He said workers rights to participate in decision-making processes affecting their lives at the work places and in the society must be recognized.

Mr Asamoah said the TUC believes that to achieve decent work, government should decentralize 93Tripartism" to cover the regions and the districts as a means of broadening its scope of inclusiveness in the decision making process. He commended the efforts of the National AIDS Commission and other agencies to sensitize the population on HIV/AIDS. 13 April 11