News that the National Labour Commission (NLC) and the leadership of Organised Labour are holding discussions to find ways to reduce industrial strikes is very heartwarming.

The fact that Labour had agreed and is participating in the discussions is a great indication that it is not only interested in fighting for the rights of workers, but also ensuring national stability and growth.

Industrial strikes have become rampant in the country, following the challenges involved in the  implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy to address issues of inequalities in the pay structure and poor conditions of service.

The situation has been worsened by issues of job evaluation and regrading placement, market premium conversion differences, payment of incremental credit payment allowances, book and research allowances and others.

The agitations last year, nearly brought the nation to its knees, and the situation may get worse this year, if proactive steps are not taken to prevent the strikes.

This being an election year, the Times believes it is imperative that all efforts are made to avert them.

Already, some of the labour unions have began sending signals. The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) on Tuesday, served notice of their intention to embark on strike if their salary arrears are not paid within two weeks.

The Coalition for Concerned Teachers (CCT) also held a press conference yesterday, similarly giving government two weeks to resolve all problems related to their salary arrears, or they would join the strike.

As if that is not enough, the group intends to drag the government before the highest court of the land, Supreme Court, for an interpretation of Article 24 (1) of the constitution to compel the government to pay its outstanding salary arrears.

It is a fact that such continuous labour unrests do not augur well for national development, and everything possible should be done to stop them.

The Times, however, believes this can only be achieved if all the players fulfilled their responsibilities.

While we urge the various labour organisations to exercise restraint and be realistic in their demands, we equally appeal to the government, National Labour Commission,  the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, and other state agencies concerned, to give workers what is due them.

Only then, can the nation be guaranteed industrial peace.

For, as it is said, a labourer is worthy of his wages.


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