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Business News of Wednesday, 29 April 2020


TUC urges employers to use social dialogue on possible job cuts

Dr. Yaw Baah, Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress, (TUC) Dr. Yaw Baah, Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress, (TUC)

The Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress, (TUC) Dr. Yaw Baah, has told the media at a COVID-19 communique signing ceremony by the National Tripartite Committee, ithat they expect employers to dialogue with their employees on before considering job cuts.

He said dialogue is needed to determining the actions to be taken.

Many employers and employees have been hugely affected following the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the country.

But the TUC boss said : “COVID-19 will affect different enterprises differently, and so where they have a union they have to discuss with their employers and where they don’t have unions, employers should create the space to discuss with workers so that they can agree on the way forward. There are some enterprises that are self-employed and in fact, we were saying probably this is late, but it is not because those enterprises that don’t have unions always have to rely on guidelines from the National Tripartite Committee, so we have come out at the right time so that they can also be guided on what they should do going forward. Social dialogue is the only way we can get out of this together.”

Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, said the private sector is likely to feel the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses than the public sector.

“The impact of COVID-19 on various aspects of the economy differs from one institution to the other. For instance, if you take the public sector, I have not heard and I am not aware of anybody who has not received theor salary because of COVID-19. But if you go to the private sector, as I indicated earlier, the impact differs from one sector of the economy to the other.

“For instance, the hospitality industry is badly affected than perhaps any other part of the economy. If you come to Accra for instance, most hospitality facilities are usually are filled up with people who are not necessarily Ghanaians, but may have come to Ghana to transact one business or the other. But because there is this ban on travel and people being extra careful, movement has actually reduced, and as a result when you go to most of these hotels they are not functioning.”

He therefore pleaded with employers to use social dialogue in their decision-making processes such that all parties will have their grievances sorted out.

“The long effect of that is if we are not working, all things being equal, our workers are also not working. Eventually what then happens is that they will either ask their workers to stay at home or have some form of arrangement with them.

“There has not been any formalized way of dealing with workers when it comes to such situations, but that is why the tripartite is urging that should any workplace decide to make a decision as a result of the effect of COVID, we are pleading with them to use the conduit of social dialogue so that it will not be seen as perhaps one part of the tripartite body imposing its rights over the other.”