The Ghana Mineworkers’ Union has commended the government for its sterling leadership in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 in the country.
The Union, however, urged the government to develop a multifaceted Comprehensive National Emergency Response Plan for future pandemics, disasters and eventualities.
This was in a statement signed by Mr Abdul-Moomin Gbana, the General Secretary of the Union and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Tuesday.
The statement said the government’s initiative to set up an Unemployment Insurance Scheme as a response to COVID-19 and future pandemics was a good idea.
The Union urged authorities to situate the policy within a broader national agenda to ensure its full promotion and realization in the long run.
The statement said Gold had since the beginning of the year seen an unprecedented break-through in price as it soared above US$2,000 an ounce as of August 2, 2020.
“Gold has been on a generally positive trend for the past few years. However, the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic has made gold’s relevance as a hedge even more apparent and accelerated its price performance.
“Gold increased by 17 per cent during the first half of 2020, moving up by an additional 10 per cent in July.”
The statement called for increased investment to expand and create more jobs in the mining industry.
It commended social partners for the exceptional show of professionalism, cooperation and collaboration during the pandemic.
Touching on labour market issues, the Union expressed concern over the increasing role of private employment agencies in the mining sector.
“As a trade union, we find it difficult to comprehend why successive governments, after 18 years of the implementation of the Labour Act has failed to operationalize even one of the public employment centres under Section two of the Act to play the critical role imposed on the state under Section three.”
It said two other loopholes in Act 651 and Regulation 1833 were contributing to the precarious work not only in the mines but other industries, mostly in the private sector.
The statement said the deficiencies in the Act was inhibiting progress towards the decent work agenda, which grants exemptions to employers from paying redundancy to workers engaged in temporary employment.
“In our view the greatest injustice ever perpetrated against workers, employers have capitalized on this and are engaging workers on all kinds of jobs under cutting throat precarious arrangement all in the bid to escape severance payment; a critical employment protection under the law,” the statement said.