Ghanaians mark May Day across country

Some workers at the May Day parade in Kumasi

Some workers at the May Day parade in Kumasi

Workers parades were organised in various locations across the country to mark this year’s May Day celebration.

We bring to our readers, the event as was witnessed by our correspondents.

From Ho, Alberto Mario Noretti reports that the May Day parade at the Ho Jubilee Park yesterday was preceded and followed by free-for-all borborbor sessions which took the Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa off his seat onto the floor to demonstrate his dancing skills.

In a keynote address, Dr Letsa called for concerted efforts to fiercely resist gender inequality at workplaces for equal opportunities to prevail among workers.

“Sexual abuse and intimidation must also be dealt with decisively for productivity to take place smoothly,” he added.

Earlier, Mr John Nelson Akorli, Ho Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), said that better working conditions must be backed with punctuality, dedication to duty and hard work, towards the attainment of sustainable development goals.

The Regional Trades Union Congress (TUC) Secretary, Mr Elvis Van-Lare renewed his call on government to take a bold step to disentangle the country from International Monetary Fund (IMF) programmes, saying no country had ever made development strides under IMF policies.

Awards were presented to deserving workers.

A 55-year old Felix Larbi, administrative assistant with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) was adjudged the overall best worker in the Eastern Region at the Workers Day event held at the Koforidua Jackson Park reports David Sackey Kodjo 

 

Mr Larbi had worked for the past 31 years with many government institutions.

This year’s Workers Day celebration which was on the theme “Sustainable Development Goals and Decent Work, the Role of Social Partners” began with a float from the forecourt of the State Insurance Company (SIC) through the B. Foster street to the central market street and ended at the Koforidua Jackson’s Park.

 

All the workers unions took part in the colourful float amidst drumming and singing while some workers unions such us the Volta River Authority and the Construction and Building Material Workers Union used the platform to register their concerns to government.

 

They carried placards with inscriptions “We don’t need America’s intervention to boost our power section Mr President, Volta River Authority (VRA) is not meant for multi-player nationals and stock exchange.

 

Other read “Let the cash flow for emergency road rehabilitation work, our road construction equipment are old, we need replacement.”

 

The Regional Chairman of Trade Union Congress, Phyllis Agyemang in his speech said workers of Ghana will continue to support the good policies of government but will not hesitate to criticise constructively decisions that will not benefit its workers unions.

 

While commending government for the implementation of the Free SHS policy, he also pleaded with it to support the private sector as promised in the 2016 manifesto to enable them employ more graduates because the sector is the engine of growth.

 

Ms Phyllis Agyemang also advised the workers to make maximum use of time to help increase productivity at their work places.

 

For his part, the Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Daffour said government appreciates the value of creating decent jobs for the teeming youth who continue to graduate every year from the various institutions of learning.

 

He indicated that, for this reason, government had begun many flagship programmes geared towards job and wealth creation.

 

The Western Region May Day Celebration was held at the Takoradi Jubilee Park with all organized labour in all districts in the region converging there, reports Peter Gbambila.

The Western Region Minister, Dr Kweku Afriyie told the workforce that all workers were toiling to define themselves and the nation at large.

He said the day was set aside to recognise and honor workers who were contributing to the socio economic development of the nation.

He observed that a well organised labour force could be the main contributors to the rapid development of any community because if the work force was not well organised there would be chaos always.

Dr Afriyie saluted all the workers in the region for their great contributions not only to uplift themselves alone but building the nation as well.

The Secretary General, Dr Yaw Baah’s speech, which was read by the Western Regional secretary of TUC, Mr Samuel K. Doughan said the lack of decent employment was the greatest challenge facing Ghana today. He indicated that out of nearly 13 million Ghanaians eligible to work only two million that was about 15 per cent had decent jobs.

Dr Baah said about 11 million Ghanaians representing a work force of 85 per cent were working in very precarious conditions with no hope for the future.

Some workers were rewarded for their contributions to the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC).

The Upper East Region this year marked the 41st May Day celebration in the Bongo District where all the labour unions from all the 15 municipalities and districts including the Municipal and District Chief Executives, Heads of Department and traditional authorities congregated to mark the event reports Samuel Akapule.

Addressing the occasion, the Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Rockson Bukari Ayine, remarked that this year’s May Day was special as the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo launched the Nation Builders Corps which, he noted, was one of the ruling government’s programmes aimed at job creation.

The Regional Minister stated that among the priority areas of the government was job skill development and training and explained that government’s concentration on the technical and vocational training in the various intuitions including the technical universities and the five years skills development programme which he indicated had been approved by Cabinet for implementation are all geared towards realising the dream.

He entreated the leaders of the various labour unions to work with the government closely to help tackle the challenges on the Labour front ranging from productivity to discipline and integrity.

“We have to change our mindset that government’s business is for no one and begin to work like it were our own. Now that a Special Prosecutor is in place we have to constantly bear in  mind the duty to account for resources entrusted to our care”, the Regional Minister stressed.

Whilst lauding the efforts of the Organised Labour for working harmoniously with the government to avert any serious Labour unrest, the Paramount Chief for the Bongo Traditional area, Naba Belia Belimkima Leemyarum Baba Salifu entreated them to continue to maintain good relationship with the government and to ensure that they step up productivity to help generate more wages and salaries to pay workers very well.

The Regional Secretary of the Trade Union Congress , Mr Augustin Adongo Apambilla,  who read  a speech for the Secretary General of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr Anthony Yaw Baah  called on the government  never to go in any longer for support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) .

Whilst calling on the government to ensure that foreign companies particularly the mining sectors do not make Ghanaian workers redundant anyhow and maltreat them, the Secretary General also expressed worry about the level of over exploitation of natural resources by many foreign mining companies at cheaper cost and called on the government to check such trends.

From Koforidua, Samuel Opare Lartey reports that the Eastern Regional 2018 May Day celebration was held in the New Juaben Municipality with more 2,000 workers marching though the principal streets of the regional capital.

The programme, chaired by the Regional TUC Chairman, Mr. K. Owusu recounted the establishment of the Workers Day and how the pioneers suffered to gain the independence of workers in the world.

He urged government to bring back the end of year benefits or pay workers appreciable salaries to enable them live long after retirement.

He commended government for the Free Senior High School (SHS) Policy but urged government to create the avenues that would absolve the numerous unemployed graduates in the country.

Mr Owusu appealed to workers to support the government to achieve the plans put in place for the development of the nation.

The MCE for New Juaben, Madam Comfort Asante advised the workers to work hard to support the measures put in place to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

She said government was leaving no stone unturned to ensure that workers benefit from the fruit of their labour.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour and Madam Phyllis Agyemang represented the President and the TUC General Secretary respectively.

In Accra Claude Nyarko Adams, reports that dozens of workers in the Greater Accra Region thronged the Black Stars Square in Accra, yesterday to mark this year’s Workers Day.

Clad in T-shirts and polo shirts with inscriptions of their respective organisations, the workers sang various songs during the parade as well as expressed their concerns about the working conditions in the country.

The New Times Corporation, Tema Oil Refinery, National Youth Authority, Ghana National Association of Hairdressers and Beauticians, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Electricity Company of Ghana, Ghana Water Company Limited, Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), University of Ghana, Kasapreko Ghana Limited, Coalition of Textiles Workers among several others were represented at the parade.

They carried placards with various inscriptions including “Reduce Taxes”, “Protect Our Jobs”, “Save our Jobs, Mr President”, “Increase our salaries”, all calling on government to improve working conditions and environment.

The event was on the theme “Sustainable Development Goals and Decent Work: The Role of Social Partners.”

Greater Accra Regional Minister, Ishmael Ashitey, addressing the workers, said in line with the International Labour Organisations (ILO) Decent Work Agenda, it behooves on workers, employers and governments as social partners to focus on job creation in designing of economic policies and development plans.

As an agenda which the current government ascribes to, he said economic growth would not only generate decent work opportunities but also promote inclusive and poverty-reducing growth.

He explained that the estimation that the two million people out of the 13 million economically active Ghanaians have decent jobs requires that the private sector work together with government to create more jobs.

He said the search for decent work was not a choice and government, together with all partners was ready to take up the task.

In a statement read on behalf of Dr Yaw Baah, Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), he expressed concern about high rate of redundancy exercises in the mining sector as well as the banking and maritime sectors, all in the name of profiteering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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