Let’s promote World Day for Decent Work too!

World Day for Decent Work is annually marked on October 7 as encouraged by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The ILO defines decent work as highly productive work that guarantees a fair income, social protection and safe working condition regardless of the worker’s gender in an environment of non-discrimination and equality, freedom to express concerns, and respect for human dignity.

When the ITUC inaugurated World Day for Decent Work in 2008, its main goal was to mobilise trade unions around the world for a day to organise events in support of the right for decent work.

Compared with May Day or Workers’ Day, the World Day for Decent Work is celebrated on a low ebb, yet it is day which must receive much attention, considering its principal objective of creating awareness of the need to ensure the proper treatment of workers in terms of good work environment, fair remuneration, good health, their human rights and dignity.

The role of work in human life as to the progress of man and the general development of society can be said to over-ride everything because what is termed good life can only be realized as the result of work.

In fact, the good Book, in 3rd John verse 2, classifies the three most important things man must seek – spirituality, good health and prosperity and it is indisputable that prosperity is the result of work and if it is work, then it must be decent work.

Going by the ILO definition of decent work, many workers, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ghana, have cause to complain that they are denied decent work.

In our dear country, for instance, we can say that many are those workers, especially shop-floor ones, who are mistreated by employers at will.

Some are sometimes denied their remunerations, whereas others are physically assaulted or fired without good cause and without compensation.

Just Wednesday, last week, a Chinese national slashed the neck ofa Ghanaian worker of Paulichenda Engineering in Takoradi, when he demanded his remuneration after the Chinese manager said he had sacked him for misbehaviour.

There is also the classic assault case in February 2017 when a Lebanese supervisor of Marwako Restaurant in Accra, Jihad Thaabn, 26, was alleged to have dipped the face of 25-year-old female employee, Evelyn Boakye, into blended pepper for fidgeting with a blender and for working slowly.

Many are such cases involving both Ghanaian and foreign employers in the country that go unreported.

No people would progress and neither would any society develop when those working for the state and private sector employers, as well as even those working for themselves are not treated well.

Therefore, it is about time all stakeholders did the needful to ensure decent work.

The government must create the enabling environment to encourage self-employment and creation of more jobs in the private sector with policies and programmes and projects that meet the tenets of decent work.

The Ghanaian Times, therefore, encourages labour unions like ICU-Ghana to continue to, at least, call attention to the World Day for Decent Work, reminding all stakeholders of all the good things due workers such as conducive work environment, pension, healthcare and their rights as workers and human beings.

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