TUC blames past govts for workers’ poor economic condition

Dr Yaw Baah, Secretary General, TUC

Dr Yaw Baah, Secretary General, TUC

The Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Ghana, Dr Yaw Baah, has faulted successive governments for doing little to better the economic condition of Ghanaian workers.
According to him, the prevailing economic circumstances in the country do not commensurate with the long held status of the country as the beacon of peace and democracy on the African continent.
Addressing workers at the Independence Square in Accra yesterday to mark this year’s ‘May Day’ celebrations, Dr Baah said “the socio economic challenges facing Ghana today is an indicator of this failure.”
He said after seven successful national elections, the stability ought to have translated into conducive economic environment to propel citizens from the quagmire of poverty.
“As a nation, we have done well in nurturing our democracy to this point. We have kept ourselves together as a nation. In spite of our challenges, we are still the model of democracy in Africa but the bitter truth is that, we have failed in economic management.
“Joblessness among the youth remains the greatest challenge facing Ghana in spite of our enormous wealth. After 60 years of independence, a significant number of Ghanaians cannot afford houses and education for their children,” he said.
In his view many Ghanaians were unable to afford basic health care, either because of unavailable facilities or financial reasons forcing them to rely on orthodox medicine even when there is a clear need to consult health care professionals.

To him, it was becoming a curse to grow old in Ghana because the country is unable to take care of its aged population and “our compatriots with disabilities have to beg on the streets of Accra and other cities to survive.”|
Communities, Dr Baah said, feel insecure because of armed robbery because they knew the law enforcers will not respond to their emergency calls on time partly because there is one police officer to every 1,000 Ghanaians when the United Nations’ standard ratio was one police officer to 500 people.
Prisoners, in the view of the TUC boss, live in conditions that are considered “unfit even for animals; our roads are comparable to war zones because many Ghanaians die on these roads everyday.”

It was a shame for many Ghanaian children to go to bed without food daily, Dr Baah said adding that many of them were unable to celebrate their fifth birthdays with many more forced into child labour under hazardous conditions so as to fend for themselves and their families.
The above ‘failures,’ he said should not be the future of a very worthy country like Ghana after 60 years, of independence. “Clearly, we have mismanaged our economy.”
He said the country chose a certain path which had led it to where it finds itself adding that “this is not where Ghana should be given our massive natural resources. Ghana has no reason to be counted among poor countries.
“What happened to the billions of dollars we receive from our gold, our diamonds, our manganese, our timber, our cocoa in the last 60 years? What happened to the billions of dollars we generate from taxes, what happened to the billions of dollars we have received from donors? What happened to the billions of dollars we receive from external and domestic loans?”
Many Ghanaians, Dr Baah said have lost hope in the future for they do not know what to expect in the future but is never too late to develop.
“We now have the opportunity to chart another path that will lead us away from poverty to a path that will lead us to a great future full of hope and prosperity for ourselves, our children and our children’s children.”
To achieve these, he said organised labour was counting on the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to lead it into the future every Ghanaian wished and hoped for.
Organised labour, he said was of the conviction that President Akufo-Addo could lead “us out of poverty and restore hope to all Ghanaians by revatalising all sectors of the economy,” and pledged the support of organised labour in that respect.

By Yaw Kyei, Julius Yao Petetsi and Jonathan Donkor      

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