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Politics of Thursday, 16 August 2012

Source: GNA

Don’t pass RIB without amendments - TUC

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has vowed to resist any attempt by Parliament to pass the Right to Information Bill (RIB) without amendments proposed by the people.

The TUC said it had taken note of the fact that despite pious promises of commitment to the passage of a genuine right to information legislation, Parliament was far from performing that fundamental duty it owed to Ghanaians.

These were contained in an address by Mr. Kofi Asamoah, Secretary General of the body, at the ninth quadrennial delegates’ congress of the TUC in Kumasi.

He said the workers’ union was anxiously waiting and looking for the inclusion of amendments proposed during the nation-wide consultations by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Communications and Legal, Subsidiary Legislation and Parliamentary Affairs.

Mr. Asamoah said among these were the provision for an independent information commission, radical reduction of the timeline for disclosure of information and subjection of all exemption clauses in the bill “to harm or public interest test.”

Others were the inclusion of certain categories of private bodies that engage in social or public functions, exploit the country’s natural resources or are contracted and paid by the state to undertake certain functions in the proposed law.

Mr. Asamoah said the RIB was important and the TUC as a leading force of the nation’s democratic movement could not fail to make its voice heard on a matter affecting the very foundation of the country’s democracy.

He condemned employers obsessed with victimization of union leaders “whose only crime was that they were discharging their legitimate duties as workers’ leaders.”

Mr. Asamaoh said the TUC was ready and determined to protect trade union leaders.

He said effective and efficient organization was the only means to empower affiliate unions as workers to demand their fair share of the value they created.

Mr. Asamoah asked the leadership of the various trade unions to take steps to increase membership of their groups, to become strong enough to protect the security and tenure of workers while increasing productivity at their work place.