Ghana: Workers Mark May Day Today

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Workers in Ghana will today join their counterparts worldwide to celebrate International Workers' Day often referred to as May Day- set aside to recognise the selflessness of workers.

Organised Labour Groups will congregate at various grounds in all 16 regions countrywide to commemorate the day under the theme "Sustainable pension for all; the role of social partners"

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will join the National Parade to be held at the Black Star Square, according to a statement issued by Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress Ghana (TUC), Dr Yaw Baah.

In Accra, workers will converge at Obra Spot, Kwame Nkrumah Circle and go on a procession through Farisco Traffic Light to TUC headquarters to the Black Star Square to be addressed by the President and TUC officials.

Meanwhile Clement Adzei Boye, reports from Takoradi that the Ghana Railway Workers Union (GRWU) is advocating the immediate revamping of the Western Rail Line to advance socio-economic development of the area.

In a press release copied to the Ghanaian Times ahead of today's May Day celebration, the General Secretary of GRWU, Godwill Ntarmah said a buoyant railway sector was tied to their pensions.

"The piecemeal approach to that stretch of line is unacceptable. The only way to sustain the operations of Ghana Railway Company Ltd is to revamp the entire Western Line," it added.

It noted that the rail line is used to haul commodities including bauxite, manganese, cocoa and cement to the Takoradi Port and other places thereby ensuring the longer life span of roads in the region.

Its revamping, the Union said, would reduce frequent road maintenance, eliminate road carnage caused by bigger trucks, create employment and lessen greenhouse emission.

The railway workers contended that, although the Ghana Railway Company Limited was a liability company, the state owned 100 per cent shares with no shareholders and suggested that the needs of workers must be of interest to the state and not the company alone.

It further called on management to ensure that the Collective Bargaining Agreement which expired in July 2018 and the ongoing negotiations should be finalised to sustain workers' pension instead of the low level of salaries in the company.

Similarly, the Migrant Labour General Workers' Union (MLGWU) has called on governments and policy makers to improve the working conditions of employees.

It said although labourers including migrants, immigrants, refugees and displaced persons contributed to wealth creation, only a handful benefited from it.

In a statement copied the Ghanaian Times yesterday, ahead of the celebration, the MLGWU noted that about 4.5 billion out of the seven billion population lived in abject poverty and misery.

In a related development Lawrence Markwei reports that the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOSSAG) has asked the Auditor-General to pay attention to the numeral consultancies that were not time bound and have become part of some public service institutions.

According to CLOSSAG, it was not proper for these consultancies to have taken on a permanent feature within the services instead of offering expert advice and directions within a limited period.

Addressing a press conference yesterday in Accra, Isaac Bampoe Addo, the Executive Secretary of CLOSSAG said such development apart from being a drain on the public purse also truncate information flow and tend to obstruct institutional memory as long as their work remains in the hands of private consultants.

He said one area of concern was the level of confidential information that was placed in the hands of private consultants, adding that the danger of it could better be assessed by the Auditor-General in order to provide professional insight or advice.

Mr Addo also said CLOSSAG was of the opinion that, the Auditor-General's office should stick to their core mandate of auditing services after their internal audits.

He said one of such conflict of mandate was about the issue of clearing ghost names from the government payroll which has severally been undertaken by consultants on behalf of the Auditor-General's office.

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