The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) is calling on government to come clear on policies pertaining to casual employment. The union is impressing on government to come out with a comprehensive policy that details, especially, how long a casual worker should be engaged.
General Secretary of ICU, Solomon Kotei revealed that a lot of industries in Tema and other part of the country engaged numerous casual workers and keep renewing their contract after every six months. According to him, some of these casual workers have been working for some companies for close to 15 years and over 20 years respectively and still remain casual workers.
Mr. Kotei, in an interview with the B&FT, at the 11th quadrennial regional delegates conference in Tema bemoaned most of these casual workers are recruited by recruitment agencies and are not entitled to any benefits.
He therefore urged government to reconsider the recruitment agencies’ policy as well, disclosing the fact that most of these recruitment firms has taken over the role of the employer and are now paying workers meagre wages.
“We have agencies who recruit and hire labour to the needed industries and institutions, the practice in Ghana today is that these agencies have turn themselves to become the employers of the high labour. They end up paying them as pay masters while they charge the employer, and they choose from their own how much to give the employee. The employee continues to remain a casual worker.
Sadly, if you go to our banks today about 70% of all the tellers you see are casual workers. They are doing the same job, but they are treated differently. This is putting money in wrong pockets,” he said.
Mr. Kotei appeal to government to address this concern as a matter of urgency, or the ICU casual workers will hit the street to press home their demand for a better working policy.
He further entreated government to abolish overtime tax, resolve power outage challenge, include cancer, kidney and cardiovascular care to the national health insurance scheme, and make it known publicly how the coronavirus pandemic has affected it to the extent that government cannot increase salary in 2021.
The Tema Regional Officer of ICU, Samuel Ananga, indicated that the region recorded its fair share of unpleasant redundancy exercises in some of the industries for various reasons ranging from automation, outright closures, high operational cost, re-structuring, among others.
The region also embarked on continuous union sensitization programme to educate current and new members on occupational health and safety, basic union rights, collective bargaining and grievance handling.