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Opinions of Sunday, 27 July 2014

Columnist: Appiah-Osei, Lawrence

Organized Labor Should Have Called For “Hunger Strike” Instead.

On July 24, 2014 Organized Labor, led by The Trades Union Congress (TUC) organized a demonstration in which the intent was to draw government’s attention to the worsening cost of living caused by hikes in utility and petroleum prices, the depreciation value of the cedi against other foreign currencies and the mismanagement of the economy. In view of this demonstration, the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) also directed its members to only attend to emergency cases and to withdraw Out-Patient-Department (OPD) services in all hospitals throughout the country.
When you flip the coin, it means what the Organized Labor want government to do is to subsidize heavily for the prices of utility and petroleum prices to come down, the government should do some magic so that within the next few days the cedi will start appreciating against other foreign currencies and manage the economy well according to Organized Labor specifications. What some stupid reasons to demonstrate knowing what they know.
Meanwhile, these are the same people who are calling on government to reduce spending, stop foreign loan contracts, reduce taxes but at the same time the government should repair all roads, bridges, schools, make statutory payments on time, increase subsidies, pay all salaries and allowances with immediate effect and pay all arrears in Health Insurance premiums just to mention a few.
Seriously, for Ghanaians to take the TUC serious, they should rather have organized their members to go on a hunger strike until all their grievances are resolved to the latter. I just want to find out if the TUC was represented at the Senchi Economic Forum held in May 2014. Was Mr. Kofi Asamoah, the Chairman of the TUC also present or represented? If the TUC and Mr. Kofi Asamoah were not represented at the Senchi Economic Forum, then what moral right do they have to demonstrate against the economy? On the other hand, if they were there, why did they organize the demonstration? Did they not know what “The Senchi Consensus” entails? They affirmed the date and time of the demonstration to their members at the same time that the Vice President was releasing the Senchi report to the President.
Did the TUC and Mr. Kofi Asamoah not know that the Senchi Economic Forum report is expected to restore the country’s economic stability and stimulate growth? Did the TUC and Mr. Kofi Asamoah not know that the consensus highlighted the importance of government to strengthen the public accounts and finance committees of Parliament to play their oversight responsibilities more effectively among other things? And are these not the very reasons why they ordered their members to demonstrate against the government?
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) immediately after the 2012 elections declared that they will make the country ungovernable for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) I hope the TUC has not become a political wing of the NPP and championing its course. I don’t care what the TUC stands for, but I am through this medium, calling for its dissolution because it has compromised its existence.
This is two/three days after the demonstration but has the prices of utilities and petroleum prices reduced, has the cedi appreciated against other foreign currencies and has the economy been managed according to Organized Labor specifications? Has not the Senchi report just been released to the President and would some of the recommendations in the report have immediate effect? The answer to all the above questions is NO. So why the rush to demonstrate when the government through the President has assured Ghanaians that we should be patient because he sees light at the end of the tunnel. If the NPP through the TUC don’t trust the President, most Ghanaians do.
All what I am saying is that, if the Organized Labor has time, they should know how to use it wisely for the development, growth and betterment of the country. They should rather have called for a hunger strike for all its members and at the end of three or four months, we would have known the number of people who had died, and a proper assessment could be made then. Organizing useless and fruitless demonstrations and asking yourself “what next,” a day after the demonstration is as ugly as asking yourself, “why did I do this thing?”
The demonstration the Organized Labor embarked on reduced the productivity the country now needs than ever before. If Organized Labor has any more demonstrations to do, they should demonstrate against why there is low productivity at the work places or against the Black Stars early elimination from the World Cup.
The NDC and HE President John D. Mahama are focused on making Ghana a better country and I wished all those wasting their time and making ugly noises now, will live to see the better Ghana NPP will inherent in 2060 or beyond. Insha Allah.
Lawrence Appiah-Osei (Protocol)
Public Relations Officer (PRO)
NDC Washington Metro Branch
Appiah65@Hotmail.com