Every year, May 1 is celebrated globally as Workers’ Day of solidarity, and Ghana is no exception.
To mark the day, the General Secretary of Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU-Ghana) Morgan Ayawine, has urged his members to ensure maximum productivity at their workplaces. Mr. Ayawine said in the message: “Fellow workers, once again we are privileged to observe the International Workers’ Day of solidarity (May Day), which comes as a reminder of our emancipation as workers from the servitude almost a century and half years ago that has now made us to labour in dignity and self-assertiveness; thus, enabling us to negotiate with our social partners (employers) on matters affecting our employment, unemployment, terms and conditions of service – unlike the preceding of liberation of the 16th century employment and matters of old which has made capital and labour equal partners of work.
“The essence of labour primarily is to meet our physiological needs (food/shelter) now and in future; hence, the adoption of the theme ‘Protecting Incomes and Pensions in an era of Economic Crisis, our Responsibility’ is an appropriate theme for the celebration of 2023 May Day.
“Comrades, our survival as workers – now and in the future – depends largely on our present incomes and future pensions. Therefore, pension must be seen as sacrosanct and should not be violated under any circumstance if the recent experience regarding the investment of pensioners in the country is anything to go by.
“On this score, achieving a living wage for Ghanaian and protecting workers’ incomes and pensions must be the responsibility of all stakeholders in the socio-economic equation in the country. As workers, every year celebration of May Day has imbued in us our irresistible sense of belonging in the labour fraternity, which should motivate us to give our best at our workplaces to maximise productivity for our organisations’ profitability and for sustainable economic growth and national development.
“Similarly, employers must show commitment and pay workers living wage in conformity with international standards to commensurate with our toils and sacrifices for increased productivity, translating into economic and national development. The tripartite partnership of government/employer/labour must be strengthened efficiently and effectively harnessed to work in tandem to finding a lasting solution to the intractable economic challenges in the country in order to achieve sustainable and lasting economic relief for workers and the citizenry.
“As trade unions and workers, we shall continue to play this role expected of us the same vein as the other two members of the partnership. Employers should motivate workers in the institutionalisation of living wages and desist from engaging casual labour, while government promulgates sound and effective policies and programmes that will create the conducive environment for economic development.
“On this note, I salute all our gallant workers of Ghana for the hard work and sacrifices you have been making toward economic recovery!”