71% Workers Have No Trade Unions

Ahead of the Labour Day which falls tomorrow May 1, 2015, it has been established that 71.1 per cent of Ghanaian employees do not have trade unions at their work place.

These people according to the Labour Force Report will have limited bargaining power and will be vulnerable to exploitation. 

Additionally, three out of every five workers in Ghana do not have written contracts with their employers.

According to the report conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service and the International Labour Organisation, these have serious implications for job security because the workers could have their employment terminated without recourse to any laid down procedure.

All workers are expected to pay income tax on their earnings to help with economic development. However, the data revealed that 73.9 per cent of Ghanaian workers do not have taxes deducted from earnings.

The report also established that 70 per cent of employed persons who are old are neither entitled to social security nor receive any pension on retirement. 

Also, 80.1 percent of the workers have no subsidized medical care at their work place. 

In a related development, more than one-third of plant machine operators and assemblers usually work at least 70 hours per week.

Additionally, 23.5 per cent of sales and service workers, 18.9 per cent of legislators and managers, 17.7 per cent of clerical support workers and 13.8 per cent of technicians and associate professionals work about 70 hours or more in a week.

According to the Labour Force Report, one in every 10 (10.2 per cent) skilled agricultural and fishery workers, 4.2 per cent service and sales workers, 4.3 per cent craft and related trade workers and 2.5 per cent professionals work less than 10 hours per week. 

About 40 per cent of persons engaged in the manufacturing sector work less than 25 hours per week while 40.4 per cent work more than 64 hours per week. Comparatively, a greater proportion of workers engaged in the transport and storage sector (56.0 percent) work less than 25 hours in a week or 57.8 per cent of the workers work more than 64 hours or more in a week.

The report however said that long hours of work are indicators of decent but are considered a threat to physical and mental health, interfering with the balance between work and family life.  It also has the tendency of reducing productivity.