The Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) says the communique issued by the Tripartite after a meeting on Monday failed to address major challenges facing employers and employees in the COVID-19 era.
The communique which was signed by Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Daniel Acheampong, President of the Ghana Employers’ Association and Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, Secretary General, Ghana Trades Union Congress, outlined some safety measures that must be put in place to ensure safety of workers and employers.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency, Mr Abraham Koomson, General Secretary of the GFL, said his outfit vehemently disagreed with the imposition of liabilities on distressed businesses under the current situation to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Mr Koomson indicated that the stand of the Tripartite left government out even though it has responsibility to make interventions under the circumstances by implementing the stimulus policy to mitigate the financial burden on business owners to save jobs.
“Sadly, the communique signed by the group failed to address the fundamental challenges of business decline and the threat of job losses. Can safety issues apply when there are no enterprises to employ workers? ”
He revealed that at the moment most workers had been sent home awaiting to be recalled when the pandemic was contained or brought under control adding that meanwhile such workers would not be paid salaries or at best would receive 50 per cent of what they receive monthly.
He added that other sectors such as the hospitality industry would have to wait for a longer period to start work saying staff of airport handling companies also had to remain at home awaiting reopening of the borders.
“Collective Agreements signed with employers are not being honored by employers likewise contracts of employment because of the extra cost being incurred by employers to sustain their operations to retain workers, the private sector is hard hit therefore it was unfortunate that the Tripartite communique did not capture such matters, ”he said.
Touching on the attendance of the meeting he revealed that even though GFL was a member of the National Tripartite Committee, they were not informed even though such sensitive issues were going to be discussed.
“GFL is a substantive member of the Tripartite and serves on organized Labour team together with TUC, CLOGSAG, GNAT and other unions rep. GFL was not privy to discussions which culminated in the adoption of yesterday’s communique”.