We need living wages – public sector workers demand

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Public Sector Workers embark on demonstration
Public Sector Workers embark on demonstration

Workers in the Central Region have appealed to government for a Cost of Living Allowance (CoLA) of at least 20 percent for all public sector workers to cushion them against the prevailing hardships in the country.

They said the rapid depreciation of the Cedi, coupled with the galloping inflation in Ghana was pushing many workers below the poverty line, requiring urgent measures to salvage the situation.

Regional Secretary of TUC, Madam Cynthia Aba Sam Ananoo, who was speaking to the media said the proposed allowance would cushion workers against the high cost of living and prevent mass poverty among workers.

She said the allowance must also be extended to private sector workers earning the minimum wage and pensioners taking home a maximum of GHC300 per month.

Madam Ananoo maintained that the time had come for workers to be paid the living wage instead of minimum wage, adding that salaries must be adjusted to respond to the high cost of living.

She called on government to suspend all taxes and levies on all petroleum products to reduce the prices of fuel and ease the burden of citizens as the 15-pesewa reduction offered by government was inadequate, adding that the move would demonstrate that government was sensitive to the plights of the people.

She urged government to consider a review of the method of fuel prices adjustment because the current method was adversely affecting consumers. “Government should also consider revamping the Tema Oil Refinery to refine petrol domestically. This will insulate us from the high fuel prices due to exchange rate fluctuations,” Madam Ananoo said.

Corroborating the concerns raised by the secretary, she observed that the country’s economic recovery had not been as robust as projected as it was faced with challenges from multiple sources.

“Ghanaian workers’ income cannot take us home and government and other employer agencies must address it as a matter of urgency to rescue workers from extreme poverty,” he said.

He also called workers to help to accelerate the growth of Ghana as their leader negotiated for better conditions of service on their behalf.

The Central Regional Minister, Mrs Justina Marigold Assan appealed to workers to use dialogue to demand reasonable conditions of service in the wake of the economic distress all over the world.

“I believe that we should be able to resolve all labour issues in a friendly manner through negotiations and constructive dialogues to ensure a peaceful industrial atmosphere in the country,” she stressed.

She noted that it was the vision of government to collaborate with organised labour to lift the country from its present lower middle-income status to upper middle-income status and wean Ghana from dependency on foreign aids.

“As the economy rebounds, government will do everything possible in intensifying creation of more jobs, by collaborating with the private sector and also protect incomes of those already in employment through continuous dialogue with labour unions for mutual benefit,” she assured.

The Minister added that government would continue to motivate the worker by providing them with logistics and better conditions of service “so that you can also reciprocate it by upscaling your performance to put our country on the path of growth and development.

Some workers who distinguished themselves in their workplaces were awarded at the event.

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