Leadership of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) says they would not hesitate to vote the Mills-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government out of power if it failed to live up to expectation.
In a statement issued in Accra during a media interaction, Secretary General of the TUC, Kofi Asamoah noted, “We are told that Ghana is among the fastest growing countries in the world. That is good. But Ghanaians should feel the high economic growth in their lives.”
This, he said, was because “growth without social and economic development is meaningless.”
Under the current circumstance the Labour Chief said “the cost of living in Ghana remains high despite the declining rate of inflation.”
According to him, this attested to the fact that Ghanaians were wide awake and that they in the TUC were following the management of the economy closely.
He therefore stated emphatically that “even though some politicians are using all means available to them to make us believe that Ghana is doing well, Ghanaians are matured enough to know the reality on the ground.”
Considering the fact that the 1992 Constitution gives power to the people of Ghana through the ballot box, the tough-talking Secretary General of the TUC warned that “we have not hesitated to vote governments out of power if we are not satisfied with their performance.”
Mr. Asamoah took the opportunity to remind politicians and especially those in government that “it is their responsibility to manage the economy well.”
With Ghana now touted as a middle-income country, he stressed the need for salaries and the living standards of its citizenry to reflect that status, since in his own words “no middle-income country pays its workers less than ten US Dollars a day” noting with emphasis, “If Ghana is indeed a middle-income country we should feel it in our pockets.”
On the issue of employment, the Labour boss said “beyond the rhetoric, we have not seen any concrete measures being taken to deal with the employment challenge in Ghana (i.e., the lack of decent jobs for the youth in the country).”
Apart from that, he indicated, “We cannot get far with the low quality jobs being created in the informal sector for the youth”, emphasizing, “We will continue to witness high incidence of destitution, high incidence of child labour, armed robbery, prostitution and the rest of the social vices if we continued on this path.”
He noted, “The employment challenge remains a huge challenge that should receive some attention beyond the rhetoric and promises during political campaigns.”
The leadership of the TUC believed politicians were not paying enough attention to the employment challenge and that if they were, “we would have seen some positive changes.”
Instead, Kofi Asamoah said, “we see more and more young people on our streets selling all kinds of things.”
He therefore urged civil society organizations, youth movements, students, trade unions, religious institutions, and the media, to join us to put pressure on government to make employment a priority issue as promised in the 2012 Budget Statement.
The TUC as a body believed pressure from civil society could change the situation and the fortunes of the country’s youth and the future of Ghana.
That notwithstanding, it was of the conviction that “it is the responsibility of government to create more jobs directly in priority sectors such as sanitation, water supply, infrastructural development, education, health and security sectors”.
Source: Charles Takyi-Boadu
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