The General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Dr. Yaw Baah has called on government to review the country’s labor Act.
According to him, employers are taking advantage of the lapses in the Labor Act to lay off workers, hence the need for a review.
He made this statement at a forum in Accra, organized by the TUC. The forum was to release the findings of a research on Minimum Wage Fixing in the country.
“Look at what happened in the mines their contract changed from permanent contracts to casual contracts. The same thing has happened in the banks. Many of these workers who were in the collapse banks have huge loans on their heads. The law must change to protect the interest of workers, that is what labor laws are for,” he mentioned.
Dr. Baah’s statement comes in the wake of the collapse of some seven banks within the last 12 months.
The collapse of the banks has caused over 2000 workers losing their jobs.
The affected workers are yet to receive their exit packages from their employers.
Touching on this, Dr. Yaw Baah said “We have had meetings with the Bank of Ghana and we were told that the interest are ranked and exit packages comes at number five so we should wait until they have taken care of the first four before we take care of the fifth.”
Unsatisfied with the bank’s response, he said the labor law needs to be changed to reflect the importance of workers.
He hinted that they have begun steps to get government review the law.
The Director for Labour Research and Policy Institute of TUC, Dr Kwabena Nyarko Otoo, on his part recommended the payment of living wages to workers.
According to him, “A living wage will do a better job of lifting not only the worker but also his/her family out of poverty, he stated. “A worker whose earnings allow him/her to cater for the family will in all probability be more productive than otherwise.”
For the minimum wage to sufficiently induce the desired level of productivity, he recommended that the focus must change from the individual worker to encompass the family of the worker.
The forum, funded by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), was attended by the various union leaders in the country.
By Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum