The observation of World Day for Decent Work by Labour Movement on 7th October every year has taken place globally. To mark the occasion, the Industrial and Commercial Union (ICU-Ghana) has released a statement in Accra signed by the General Secretary, Morgan Ayawine, which said the union is to rally support for the implementation and sustainability of Decent Work, i.e., work that gives equal pay for equal work, and gives opportunity for personal development, work that ensures future financial security like social insurance of workers.
The release said in Ghana today so many jobs have been made precarious through a casualisation work regime that has been foisted on many workers, due to the chronic unemployment problem prevailing in the country that tends to deny such unfortunate workers’ future financial security.
These classes of workers are denied their fundamental human rights to freedom of association, forming or joining a trade union for the promotion and protection for their social and economic interest. The casual contract and temporary work regime, though allowed by the Labour Laws of Ghana for a limited period not exceeding six months and for seasonal jobs only, has been entrenched and main streamed such that even some permanent employees are outsourced by some unprincipled employers to employment agencies and redeployed back to the same organisations as casual or contract workers with reduced wages and salaries, and denied social insurance like SSNIT; thus, jeopardising their future financial security.
This, indeed, constitutes unfair labour practices which should not be allowed to continue anymore. The statement, however, called on relevant authorities (government) through the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to clamp down on this nation wreckers parading as employers, and bring fairness and equality in the employment structure of Ghana.
ICU-Ghana is ready to collaborate with authorities to expose and sanction those exploitative employers in order to sanitise the employment system for the good of all stakeholders. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which lasted for almost 2 years, took a heavy toll on a lot of workers as they lost their jobs through staff attrition by some organisations, and in some cases, total closure of business.
All these affected social insurance and financial security of the workers. Now that businesses are recovering, there is an opportunity for those who lost their jobs during the covid-19 pandemic to regain their jobs. “Today, ICU-Ghana calls on all those organizations in Ghana, Ghana Employers Association (GEA), Labour Authorities and the Government to join with us to demand the immediate end of entrenching casual and contract work beyond six months allowed by Labour Laws of Ghana and also converting Decent Work into precarious works by some selfish employers”.
If these incessant exploitations of workers do not stop, ICU-Ghana, one of the single largest trade unions would not hesitate to mobilize and collaborate with organized labour to resist any attempt by employer/organization to frustrate efforts of promoting Decent Work agenda.