Unite to demand better living conditions  EFL to workers

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Economics Living Conditions
Economics Living Conditions

The Economic Fighters League (EFL), a pressure group and Nkrumahist movement, has asked all worker-unions in the country to have a united front in demanding better salaries and living conditions. 

The call comes as several worker unions have started strike actions to demand a Cost-of-Living-Allowance (COLA) in the face of worsening economic situations.  

Mr Ernesto Yeboah, Commander-in-Chief, at a press briefing in Accra on Thursday, said that the time had come for all worker unions in the country to join forces to ensure that their demands were met by the Government. 

“As we stand together, we must do what is needed in this moment is unity. When the teachers take to the streets to protest, the health workers should be standing right beside them. When the health workers are not paid, they should be right alongside them,” he said. 

He added that: “There can be redemption for all of us when we prove we can unite and retain the trust of member groups and individuals and not let short-sighted tokens from traitors pollute our unions and their strength.” 

Mr Yeboah said that the group was in support of the action of workers and said: “All Ghanaians must rally behind our workers and put pressure on the government to heed their demands.” 

He said that the recent strikes were because “The elected government that collects taxes from these workers and is entrusted with public resources has mismanaged the country so that life has become unbearable for many workers.” 

He noted that the current hardship required that ‘ordinary Ghanaians’ including all workers in the country, “stand for their wellbeing and for the nation. It is, therefore, absolutely justified for workers to ask for 20 per cent Cost of Living Allowance.” 

The Commander-in-Chief of EFL added that: “They (workers) are already surviving on unlivable wages. As such, they deserve more, and the Economic Fighters League stands in solidarity with them.” 

Beyond the demand for the COLA, the Nkrumahist urged all worker-unions in the country to heighten the call for constitutional reforms that would see to it that the disparities between Article 71 holders and other workers were ended. 

He said: “Our public sector workers find themselves as oppressed as the rest of the nation, with paltry salaries delayed by months while Article 71 office holders and their affiliates rake in obscene amounts of money as salaries and fat allowances.”  

Meanwhile, Ministers and Deputy Ministers as part of Article 71 get benefits among others; free 24-hour security, free 4×4 as official car, free saloon car as other official car, and the option to buy official car when leaving office. 

They also get free fuel and insurance, free medical and dental care, free medical and dental care for spouse, free medical and dental care for up to four children under 18, free water and electricity, ex-gratia after every four years, he lamented. 

Mr Yeboah, therefore, said: “These combined strikes for COLA should not be just another labour resistance. It must be the beginning of labour power asserting itself and broadening our democracy.” 

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah in April this year inaugurated a nine-Member Technical Committee to review the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) and make recommendations for the consideration of the National Tripartite Committee (NTC). 

The Committee is to assess the extent to which the goals of the SSPP have been achieved, identify the key challenges in the implementation of the SSPP including linking performance to pay, market premium and administration of salary differentials in the public sector. 

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