President John Dramani Mahama has pleaded with striking workers of the Civil and Local Government Service Staff Association of Ghana...
President John Dramani Mahama has pleaded with striking workers of the Civil and Local Government Service Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSSAG), to return to work.
According to him, any attempt to yield to the demands of CLOGSAG “will throw the budget completely off track, and make nonsense of the ;sacrifices we have made together over the last year.”
CLOGSSAG a fortnight ago declared a strike to force government to pay its members their interim premium allowances, and has refused to rescind the decision until the demands are met.
A meeting organized by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations on Tuesday aimed at resolving the issue, failed to produce the needed result to compel CLOGSAG to call off the strike.President Mahama while speaking at the 10th Quadrennial Delegates Congress of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) at Kumasi in the Ashanti Region today [Wednesday], said government will only consider CLOGSAG’s demands in 2017, since it has resolved not to overspend in an election year.
“The three year extended credit facility struggles in an election year. Election year over expenditure has been the bane of our economic stability. I’m happy to note that this year even though its an election year, expenditure targets are still on track and I intend to stay strictly to the budget and the appropriations act as approved by Parliament. And this is why I appeal to CLOGSAG members to return to work.”
“I wish to assure you that, it is government’s intention to implement a comprehensive policy on payment of premiums starting from next year, and I’ve asked the Minister of Employment and Labour relations to enter into an MoU with CLOGSAG to this effect,” he added.
Breakaways in labour front not necessary
The President also used the opportunity to advise labour unions to resolve issues of breakaways in the labour front.
Workers of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) few months ago broke away from the mother union, the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), explaining that they took the decision because all efforts aimed at uniting the two groups over labour related issues have proved futile.
But President Mahama said such breakaways weaken their bargaining power.
“The mark of effective trade unionism is no longer measured by strikes and militancy; but by how many jobs are protected or created and how many more workers are drafted into our unions during our tenure. It should be today a balance of carrots and sticks. In job creation and job preservation, we share the same objective and we are therefore enjoined to work together. Our 1992 constitution guarantees the right of freedom of association, while this right enables us to leave or join any union of our choice, we must exercise this right with circumspection. Lately many groups have attempted to form workplace unions at the expense of larger mother unions. We must remember that the cardinal principle of trade union organization is strength in unity,” President Mahama added.