Friday, 5 May 2017

2017 May Day celebration, the need for gov't to address all labour-related problems

Theme for 2017 May Day: “Ghana@60: mobilising for Ghana’s future through the creation of decent jobs”

The history of the celebration of May Day which dates back to 1st – 4th May, 1886, was through the bold and courageous initiative by some leaders in the United States of America who declared a general strike to back their demand for an eight-hour working day.

As a result of that bold initiative, May Day has become an important event celebrated worldwide which acknowledges the contributions and sacrifices of workers to the socio-economic progress in all countries.

Ghanaian workers have over the years have largely used the May Day to draw attention to critical issues which require concerted effort on the part of employers government inclusive and employees to ensure sound working environment towards efficient service delivery and also improve productivity.

It is no secret that there were times in the past, when May Day was portrayed as a confrontation between workers and employers.

Thankfully, today, it serves as an occasion for collaboration between workers, on one hand, and government and other employers, on the other.

This is aimed at unearthing and drawing attention to the challenges facing labour and also promoting healthy relations with employers for the mutual good of the social partners.

The theme for this year’s May Day is: “Ghana@60: mobilising for Ghana’s future through the creation of decent jobs”. Significantly, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will associate with this year’s event in his capacity as the Head of State.

President Akufo-Addo since assuming the high office on January 7 this year stressed time and again that his government was committed to job creation for Ghanaians.

Towards this end, a number of steps have been initiated towards the creation of jobs to tackle the unemployment problem facing the country.

For example, the startling debt of 2.4 billion Ghana cedis in the energy sector alone is enough to crush any emerging economy such as that of Ghana.

On the basis of this, therefore, Ghanaians owe it to posterity to support efforts being made as a matter of urgency to address all unpleasant issues relating to the bottlenecks in the Energy Sector.

This is very important because sound economic development greatly depends on a good energy sector.

It is for this reason that the energy problem ought to be fixed once and for all.

Also, a few days ago, the President cut the sod for the construction of a 400-megawatt power project, the world’s biggest LPG-fired plant.

This is meant to address the energy problem which is fundamental to the economic growth of the country.

It should be the wish of all citizens that the One District One factory project and the Planting for Food and Jobs Program are successfully implemented to provide more job avenues in the country.

There is no doubt that the increasing number of unemployed people in the country is a major threat to the country’s peace and security.

The government needs to overcome this challenge as quickly as possible to be able to promote social harmony and peaceful co-existence among various sections of people in the country.

Even though the unemployment problem is a challenge worldwide, it is a situation that cannot be toyed with. This is why the concern of labour in its demand for the creation of decent jobs is critical in ensuring peace and harmony in the country.

At the same time, there is the need to pay attention to safety and health at work places so that workers can feel adequately protected during working hours.

For these reasons, government must do all it can to address all labour-related problems so as to create the needed confidence in the economy and also in the employment sector since unemployment is rendering many people, especially the youth, helpless and hopeless in their social lives.

By Kofi Amponsah-Bediako, Head of Public Relations, Ghana Standards Authority


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