The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has urged the Ghanaian government to halt the financing of non-essential projects to recover the economy. According to Dr. Yaw Baah, the Secretary General of TUC, ordinary Ghanaian workers are bearing the brunt of the current economic crisis, yet the government is refusing to reduce its size and is investing enormous sums of money in the National Cathedral.
Dr. Baah believes that the current economic crisis is self-imposed, and the government’s wasteful spending through the enormous size of the government, building of the National Cathedral, and corruption have weakened the fundamentals of the economy before the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.
The TUC Secretary General said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has now become the lifeline of the economy, despite Ghana’s abundant human and natural resources and the government’s ability to bring stability to the economy. Dr. Baah reiterated the TUC’s position that the IMF program cannot take Ghana out of this crisis, and that government can lead the country out of the crisis by cutting down expenditure on non-essentials.
The TUC suggested that it would be better to convert the National Cathedral project into a national hospital, as Ghanaian workers are suffering from high inflation, the excessive cost of living, and the destruction of jobs and potential jobs, including employment freeze in the public sector, debt crisis, and the effects of the domestic debt exchange program on investors, including pensioners.
The TUC also appealed to the government to take urgent steps to ensure that the Saglemi Housing project is accessible to workers to help them live decent lives. The TUC demanded an increment in salaries and improvement in the condition of service for workers if the cost of living continues to rise.
Furthermore, the TUC called on the government to complete the review of the Labour Law to protect workers’ jobs, as employers are taking advantage of the weakness in the Labour Law and replacing permanent employment contracts with fixed-term employment contracts. The TUC has lost 1,000 of its members due to this practice, which is being promoted and facilitated by private employment agencies in the last five years.
For the most part, the TUC believes that the government can find local solutions to the economic problems by reducing expenditure on non-essentials and implementing policies that prioritize the welfare of workers and the Ghanaian people.