The Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Ghana and its international partner, the Danish Trade Union Development Agency (DTDA), has supported informal sector members of the union with personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep them safe as they go about their businesses this festive season.
TUC’s informal sector wing – referred to as the Union of Informal Workers Association (UNIWA) and comprising 20 different sub-sector unions – was presented with the PPE including 1,050 boxes of surgical nose masks, which translates to 52,500 pieces; 1,150 bottles of hand sanitisers, and 15 large-size Veronica buckets.
Other items presented to UNIWA were: 20 dustbins, 20 packets of thermometer guns, gallons of liquid soap for handwashing, and tissue paper.
According to the management of TUC, during the outbreak of COVID-19 the union appealed to its global partners for support to protect members – and DTDA made a swift response to their call for support with PPE worth US$44,000.
Secretary-General of TUC, Yaw Baah, during the event said that TUC members in the informal economy are more vulnerable to the pandemic because of their consistent engagement with the masses on a daily basis in their line of business, and as such require more attention in terms of protection from the dreadful pandemic.
“TUC is the centre that organises workers in both formal and informal sectors; and as we are all aware, COVID-19 had an impact on all businesses globally – and in Ghana we have been fortunate with the measures outlined by leadership to get the situation under control.
“We had a lot of international affiliates who were willing to help us, so they requested a list of items we wanted – in which we indicated that we needed PPE for members, and they have assisted us with that,” he said.
He further emphasised that this is just the first phase of the exercise; the second phase will also take place soon, which will be a presentation of PPE to members in the formal sector as well.
The PPE were given to respective leaders of the various sub-unions under UNIWA for distribution to their members accordingly.
TUC also took advantage of the opportunity to educate and sensitise its members on the COVID-19 preventive measures. Spokesperson for the Union of Professional Nurses and Midwives Ghana (UPNMG), Frederick Ewusie, took members through a practical lesson on how to wear nose masks and remove them appropriately, as well as the standard handwashing process.
General Secretary of UNIWA, Deborah Freeman, expressed her profound gratitude to TUC for embarking on such a significant initiative to support the group at such a crucial moment.