Tema Workers demand organized Labour protect interest of both workers and investors

Dr Yaw Baah
Dr Yaw Baah

Scores of workers in Tema have called on the Ghana Trade Union Congress (TUC) to work in the interest of both workers and investors, saying that “without investors, there will not be any workforce for labour unions to protect their interests.”

Some of the workers in Tema expressed concern about the recent impasse between the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union and TUC and the management of Sunon Asogli Power Plant.

The Workers told the Ghana News Agency that the protracted differences between the TUC and management of Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Limited was unhealthy for both workers and investors and that “the formation of a union should not create a landmine at Sunon Asogli.”

“Workers need a conducive environment to work, while investors also demand the same, as well as protection and security of their investment,” Dr. William Mensah Ansah, an industrialist, told the GNA in an interview.

Dr. Ansah called on the TUC to adopt mediation instead of the antagonistic fighting strategy.

He described the attack on the management of Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Limited by Dr. Yaw Baah, TUC General Secretary, on the May Day commemoration and at the ongoing 11th International Labour Organization Annual Conference in Geneva as very unfortunate.

He said ironically that the ILO conference sought to address a wide range of issues, including a just transition towards sustainable and inclusive economies, quality apprenticeships, and labour protection; unfortunately, “our TUC used the occasion to attack a local company.”

Dr. Ansah noted that such pronouncements on international platforms would send wrong signals to the investor community about the antagonistic posture of Organized Labour against investors.

“We are not protecting and endorsing bad labour practices by management, but we must be fair and sincere in the protection of workers without killing the chicken that produces the golden eggs,” he said.

Ms. Juliet Okai, a banking consultant, also told the GNA that labour and management must coexist through peaceful means, stressing that modern labour engagement must ensure the relationship between workers, employing entities, trade unions, and the government.

Ms. Okai stressed the need for a strong relationship between labour unions, the government, and investors for a harmonious business environment, adding this is the “way to attract investors who we need to grow the economy for the future; labour cannot scare investors away through constant agitation against private companies.”

Ms. Ramatu Ayisha, a communication consultant, expressed concern about the posture of the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union (TUC), which had resulted in protracted hostilities with the management of Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Limited.

She said the wilful interferences, threats, and intimidating tactics adopted by the Ghana Mineworkers Union to force management at Sunon Asogli Power to accept the formation of the union were unfortunate.

“The union cannot adopt intimidation as a means to force management to follow a process. We must engage through cordial means, not one party holding a gun to the head of the other,” Ms. Ayisha stated.

The Tema Based Communication Consult reminded management and unions that whatever action “we embarked on collectively or individually, we must look at the general impact on the investor community, the Ghanaian workers’ interest, and the general work atmosphere in the country.”

Other workers also appealed to the Ghana Mineworkers Union, the Ghana Trade Union Congress, and the workers and management of Sunon Asogli to back out of their entrenched positions in the best interest of the country and the workers of Sunon Asogli.

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