No More Strikes And Demo This Year - Minister

Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu says the Labour front will be peaceful; devoid of strike actions this year. He said through dialogue, his ministry will ensure that there will be no strike actions and demonstrations on the labour front in the country but however urged them (Labour) to work hard in ensuring development in the country as government fulfills its part of the bargain. “I want a peaceful, harmonious, industrial environment in the country and the use of dialogue at all times… and so we will resolve most if not all of Labour issues. Strike and demonstrations affect productivity and so as government ensures that they are paid well, they should also work hard for the development of the country” he said. Haruna Iddrisu was speaking to Kwami Sefa Kayi, host of PEACE FM morning show ‘Kokrokoo’ on government’s decision to increase the minimum wage from GHC6 to GHC7. Government arrived at the decision to increase the minimum wage after the tripartite committee comprising government, labour and private employers concluded its week-long negotiation on Tuesday. The increment takes a retrospective effect from January 1, 2015. Haruna Iddrisu has also commended Organised Labour for working hand in hand with the ministry ‘in resolving this issue as early as January’. “Without their help it will be difficult to manage the economy. We have increased the minimum wage and so if you employ anybody, you are not supposed to pay anybody below 7 Ghana cedis. It will be unlawful…We have also increased the base pay by 13% from 2013 level. That one will give workers better pension and better gratuity…What this means is that we should manage the economy well; that challenge and burden is on government, so that we will all benefit from an improved and better economy. I don’t want government to accumulate arrears and so for the first time in many years we have been able to determine minimum wage and base pay in January. We have given a directive to Controller to pay the 10% COLA for January to workers so that the agreed adjustment in minimum wage, base pay and all arrears will be paid at the end of February. With this we will not accumulate arrears…,” the Employment and Labour Relations Minister said.