Pres raps unproductive workers

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has lashed out at workers over certain unsatisfactory attitudes at the workplace.

The President, in a rather blunt and thought-provoking address at this year’s May Day ceremony in Accra yesterday, said the country’s progress and productivity level had been retarded over the years due to the attitude of some workers.

“We arrive at work late and then spend the first hour in prayer; we are clock watchers and leave in the middle of critical work, because it is the official closing time. Everything comes to a stop when it rains and we seem to expect the rest of the world also to stop”.

“We have no respect for the hours set aside for work. We pray, we eat, we visit during working hours. We spend hours chatting on the telephone when customers are waiting to be served, thereby increasing our labour costs. We take a week off for every funeral. And then we wonder why we are not competitive,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo said some workers had developed bad attitudes such as petty stealing of papers, envelopes, tea, milk and other work equipment while others used office vehicles recklessly.

He said employees showed no inclination to protecting the things in their offices and factories, and were extremely reluctant to stand up for what was generally known to be right in the workplace.

President Akufo-Addo did not leave out local contractors who shoddily construct projects and other infrastructure for public use.

“How come that very old classroom blocks withstand storms and heavy rainfall, whilst the roofs of nearby, newly built ones are ripped off regularly? How come that we build roads that are expected to last for at least five years and they do not make it through one rainy season before they fail and pot holes appear?”

“The workers on the roads, the contractors and the consultants all conspire to deliver the shoddy work that prevents us from getting to where we ought to be,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo said the country’s hospitality industry did not match that of its competitors and added that many Ghanaians, sadly, accepted poor service as a norm.

He noted that the country could only develop if workers changed their attitude towards work in order to change their productivity.

“Government is ready to do its part, and I am counting on you, the Secretary General, to lead the campaign for a change in attitude to work and increase in productivity,” he said.

He urged workers to turn a new leaf and believe in their capacity to contribute to build a modern, developed and progressive nation to free the country of dependence, aid, charity and handouts.

With togetherness, he said Ghanaians could build a new nation, where there was fair opportunity for all in education and health, where hard work, enterprise and creativity were rewarded, where there was an abundance of decent jobs with good pay, dignified retirement for the elderly, and social safety net for the vulnerable and disadvantaged.

“The founders of our nation chose the Black Star as part of our national colours for a purpose. They envisaged us as a shining example to the black people of the world of what a free, dedicated, enterprising, Ghanaian people can do to build a society the equal of any, anywhere on the face of the planet,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo used the occasion to pay homage to people who fought the heroic battles that gave name to May Day (Workers Day).

“Some people lost their lives so we could have the eight-hour working day and it took years of struggle before we could have Saturday as part of the weekend. The role of organsied labour in our nation’s struggle for freedom is written in letters of gold.”

“Indeed, Kwame Nkrumah’s historic call for Positive Action in 1950 would not have succeeded without the active support of the trades’ union movement. Pobee Biney, Vidal Quist, Anthony Woode and the other workers leaders have secure places in the pantheon of great nationalists through whose work and sacrifice we have inherited the free, independent Ghana of today”.

“On this day, May Day, in the period when we are commemorating the 60th year of our independence, it is fitting and proper that we pay tribute to their memory and the memory and work of their successors such as Joe-Fio Meyer, John Tettegah, B.A Bentum, A.M Issifu, A.K. Yankey, Christian Appiah Agyei, Kwasi Adu Amankwah and Kofi Asamoah,” he said.

By Yaw Kyei, Julius Yao Petetsi and Jonathan Donkor      








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