The Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah, says the decision taken by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to lift the 3-week partial lockdown of Accra, Kumasi, Tema, and Kasoa was the right one.
Thanking President Akufo-Addo for “the excellent leadership you have provided us to save us from the horrible situation we are witnessing in other countries, particularly Europe and the US”, the TUC boss stated that “the restrictions on movement have yielded some positive results, and we are all witnesses to this.”
Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah added that “Yesterday, you eased some of these restrictions and emphasized that some of these restrictions must be complied with strictly. We think it is the right thing to do, given the dire economic consequences of prolonged restriction.”
The TUC Secretary-General made this known on Monday, 20th April 2020, when, at the invitation the President, he held discussions on measures to combat the spread of the Coronavirus in the country.
Describing the impact of the health crisis on employment in Ghana as “mind-boggling”, Dr. Yaw Baah told the President that “businesses are collapsing in almost all the sectors of the economy, many people have already lost their jobs, and many more would have lost their jobs without the easing of these restrictions.”
He continued, “The fight of this coronavirus is a shared responsibility. We think you and your government are doing what is expected of you. It is time for us Ghanaians to do our part as individuals by observing the safety protocols that will protect us and others from this deadly virus”.
The TUC Boss used the opportunity to thank all health workers, the security personnel, utility workers, the media and all other workers, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Information for providing all the essential services to the people of Ghana during this crisis.
“You risk your lives every day to protect the rest of us. You have made us very proud as workers’ leaders and so we pray that God blesses you abundantly. Mr. President, that is why we appreciate the incentive package that you have put together for health workers. These workers deserve the package. The tax reliefs, the 50% salary increase, will provide the incentive for them to work even more diligently as we continue this fight against the virus,” he added.
With workers resuming work from Monday, he urged all local branch division and national unions to work with their employers to ensure strict compliance with the various protocols in the fight against this virus.
He revealed further that, with May Day some eleven (11) days away, “we have decided to cancel all the national and regional parades that have become the main feature of May Day celebrations in our country in compliance with the ban on public gatherings but all is not lost.”
Nonetheless, he revealed that the Director General of GBC, Professor Amin Alhassan, has assured the TUC of a live television programme “to enable us to reach out to workers with a very strong message on the need for each and every worker to protect himself or herself and their families from this virus. We would like to invite you to join us to reach out to the working people of Ghana with a message of solidarity and encouragement in these difficult times.”
Dr. Yaw Baah reassured President Akufo-Addo that “the working people of Ghana, will continue to play a role in the effort to restore growth to our economy so that businesses will flourish once again and workers can keep their jobs and those who don’t have jobs now also have jobs. Finally, they should be able to defeat not only the coronavirus but also poverty.”