WORKERS all over the world yesterday marked May Day, a day set aside to celebrate the toil of the working class.
All over the world, the day – May 1, is declared a public holiday in many countries and marked with parades, parties and games.
The day, which is also referred to as Labour Day, has its roots in the labour union activism in the United States, in the 19th century when workers rose against exploitation and demanded paid leaves and reduction in working hours from 15 hours to eight hours per day.
Since then, the day has been celebrated annually to honour the achievements of workers under different themes.
This year in Ghana, the theme for the celebration is “Sustainable Pension For All: The Role Of Social Partners.”
Significantly, this year’s celebration was held with a procession in addition to the usual parade at the Independence Square which was addressed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The Ghanaian Times believes that this year’s theme is appropriate as it fits into the current discussions about the payment of pensions to retired workers.
Although workers may be facing other equally important challenges in their work places, it is critical as we celebrate Workers Day, to reflect on pensions as it affects every worker at the end of the day.
In the last few weeks, the issue has become topical with the Trade Union Congress and the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) leading the dialogue to find a common ground for the payment of pensions to retirees.
We are reliably informed that the talks between the two institutions have been healthy and have yielded very positive results and very soon, the differences would be resolved.
We are happy and confident that the discussions are going on well and hopefully it would yield the desired results.
To ensure that workers fully appreciate the workings of SSNIT, we add our voice to the call on them to take interest in issues bordering on pensions, whiles in active service.
It is the case that many workers do not take interest in their pension benefits and wait until they go on retirement before taking interest in their benefits. This is not good enough!
On the other hand, we urge the SSNIT to intensify its public education on pensions, so that beneficiaries and contributors would understand the calculations that go into the computation of their benefits.
As we celebrate the day, we appeal to the government to support workers and provide opportunities for job satisfaction.
The workers have committed their lives to nation building and serving the motherland selflessly and, therefore, deserve a fitting reward for the hardwork and dedication to duty.
We salute all workers; teachers, farmers, journalists, nurses, doctors, and other professionals, who are sacrificing to build the nation we all cherish.
On this auspicious day, we can only say AYEKOO to all workers.