Creating Peaceful Labour Relations Through National Labour Conference

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National Labour Conference
National Labour Conference

Promoting social dialogue amongst Tripartite Partners remains one of the topmost priorities of Government to resolve labour challenges.

The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations has thus invested a lot of resources over the years to achieve a peaceful industrial front that inure to the smooth implementation of Government’s policies and programmes.

However, recent happenings on the labour front made it imperative to move another mile to deepen dialogue among tripartite constituents to ensure peaceful labour relations for national development.

It is in light of this that the Ministry in collaboration with its Tripartite Constituents, organised a two-day National Labour Conference on 28th February and 1st March, 2022 at the Rock City Hotel, Kwahu Nkwatia. The Conference was organised under the theme: “Strengthening Tripartism for Building Peaceful Relations and Resilient Economy”. The Conference sought to reinforce a tripartite conversation on the dynamics and happenings on the labour front for coordinated policy responses.

PARTICIPATION

More than 200 participants from key Government institutions – Employer Organisations, Organised Labour and selected Organisations participated in the Conference. The Conference was chaired by Daasebre Akuamoah Agyapong II, Kwahuhene and President of the Kwahu Traditional Council. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delivered the keynote address and officially opened the conference. Given the importance of event, the President accepted the recommendation to institutionalise the National Labour Conference as an annual event to be held in February of each year, at the Rock City Hotel.

 

A number of dignitaries graced the maiden National Labour Conference. They included Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah (MP), Minister for Employment and Labour Relations; Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Finance; Mr AlbertKan Dapaah, Minister for National Security; Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum (MP), Minister for Education, Mr Seth Acheampong, Eastern Regional Minister; Mr Bright Wireko-Brobby  (MP), Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations; Madam Abena Osei Asare (MP), a Deputy Minister for Finance; Mr. Daniel Acheampong, President, Ghana Employers’ Association; Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah, Secretary General, Trades Union Congress; Ms. Vanessa Lerato Phala, ILO Director, Anglophone West Africa and other Ministers of State.

PARTICIPATORY APPROACH

Throughout the various sessions of the Conference, a participatory approach was deployed to enrich discussions and consultations. Contemporary issues that dominated discussions at the conference include the state of the economy, conditions of service of public sector workers, public sector salaries, labour productivity, labour dispute prevention and resolution, and ensuring sustainable pensions for all. The Conference also provided a unique opportunity for the various actors to exchange views and ideas on topical issues that threaten labour unrest.

These issues are very critical to the welfare of workers as they usually result in the loss of man hours if they are left unresolved or unattended.

ROADMAP

The Conference concluded with the adoption of roadmap by the Partners. The roadmap sets forth the framework for Government, Employers and Organised Labour in the attainment of macroeconomic stability and building resilient economy for the achievement of nation.objectives. It also spelt out the obligations of tripartite partners in ensuring peaceful industrial relations.

RESOLUTION

The Conference resolved that Government should expedite work on review of the Single Spine Pay Policy to address the current issues of salary inequities/inequalities, weak salary administration, and weak management of conditions of service.

As part of the way forward on the review process, the Ministry would constitute a Technical Committee by end of March 2022 to undertake a preliminary review of the policy, cost implications and advise Government on policy reforms for the implementation of the revised pay policy.

In addition, the Conference also agreed to build and strengthen the capacity of the Labour Department and the National Labour Commission to effectively deliver on their mandate of labour administration. These include the effective and timely prevention and resolution of labour disputes, promoting social dialogue among employers and labour and improving dispute resolution mechanisms at the workplace.

The Tripartite Partners also agreed to collectively undertake sensitisation and awareness creation on existing and relevant labour laws and regulations to facilitate compliance and enforcement and promote industrial peace and harmony. The Conference resolved that resolution of all pension issues which dominated the syndicate group discussions and plenary should be prioritised to guarantee retirement income security for the Ghanaian worker.

Overall, the conference was very successful and achieved the intended objectives. The Conference amplified the need for effective social dialogue among the tripartite constituents to build peaceful labour relations and a resilient economy.

The Conference was officially closed by Dr. Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia.

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