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Ensure Ghana never returns to IMF programmes…TUC cautions govt

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has cautioned the government never to return to the International Monetary Fund programme.

It has, therefore, urged the government to use the mid-year review to announce measures that concretely put the country on a more sustainable to consolidate the apparent successes in macroeconomic management.

The TUC also asked the government to introduce policies that would effectively translate the gains in macroeconomic management into real and visible improvements in the living conditions of Ghanaians.

The Congress said these in a statement copied the Ghanaian Times by TUC after its General Council Meeting held in the Central Region between June 27-28.

It said although indicators  presented by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and the Economic Management Team (EMT) suggests that the economy was growing and there were some relative macroeconomic stability, a lot more needed to be done to address other social challenges.

Among other things, the TUC noted that in spite of declining inflation, fiscal surplus and stabilization of the cedi against major international trading currencies, the good macroeconomic statistics were not adequately and visibly reflecting in the lives of the majority of Ghanaians.

It said the housing situation, for example, had not seen any significant improvement in the last three years.

More than that, the sanitation situation, it observed,  is actually getting worse in “our cities and towns”, with cost of living going high, while young men and women  were finding it even more difficult to find decent jobs.

The TUC urged the government to prioritise wages in the review, explaining that no economy could grow on a sustainable basis if real purchasing power kept declining.

 In the public sector, for example, the Congress noted that with the introduction of austerity measures by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sponsored Extended Credit Facility Programme, salary increases had lagged behind thereby reversing the gains in real incomes of public sector workers, especially those placed on the Single Spine Salary Structure.

Touching on reforms in the banking sector, the TUC said it fully supports government’s plans to restructure National Investment Bank (NIB) and Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), as part of the banking sector reforms, to focus on growth and development of industry and agriculture, respectively.

On the labour front, the Congress commended the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations for his intervention in ensuring an amicable settlement of dispute between TUC and Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) on refurbishment of TUC halls in Accra.

While commending President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo for his excellent statement at this year’s 108th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) which was held in Geneva, Switzerland, in June, 2019, the TUC urged the government to ratify the convention and resolution adopted at the conference to address sexual harassment against Ghanaian women at the work place.

 The Convention seeks, among other things, to eliminate gender-based violence and sexual harassment at workplaces.

The TUC noted that “Many workers in Ghana, particularly women, continue to face sexual harassment when seeking employment and even when they are already employed.”

More so, it noted that many organizations in Ghana, including public sector organizations, continue to deny female workers their reproductive rights.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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