Gov’t Grants Organised Labour Request; Deletes Pension Fund From Debt Restructuring

by Isaac Mintah
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The Gov’t of Ghana has granted the request of the Organised Labour to delete all Pension Funds from the Debt Exchange Programme.

The exemption of all pension funds will be subject to the government and Organised Labour working in tandem to explore mutually beneficial options within the debt sustainability policies.

After the meeting between Organised Labour, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, the Finance Ministry, National Security Ministry and all other parties involved on yesterday, December 22 2022, the Minister for Finance, Hon Ken Ofori-Atta, disclosed pensions of all workers will be exempted from the Programme.

The Real Issue…On Debt Restructuring/Exchange

The debt sustainability programme was launched, Monday, December 5, 2022.
It wasexpected to take effect January 2023, as it was announced as part of austerity measures to save the economy from hiccups.

The inclusion of workers’ pensions ignited heated agitations amongst workers. They however, gave the government a 7-day ultimatum to skip their contributions; most of which were lodged in government vaults.

Government failed to honour their ultimatum elapsed and so the Organised Labour declared its intention to embark on strike from Tuesday, December 27.

“We are asking government to exempt us from the debt exchange programme,” Secretary General of Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) Dr Anthony Yaw Baah told Journalists at a press conference in Accra on Monday, December 19.

“We have already told the world that if government doesn’t do that, we will advise ourselves. Today, we are here to announce the advice.

“The advice is very simple. We have all agreed that because the government has refused to grant our request, we have decided firmly that all workers of Ghana are going to strike on December 27, 2022, and we will be on strike until our demands are met.”

The Committee met on Thursday, after which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the government and Organised Labour; and seven-member committee formed to explore technical solutions to bring the debt threshold back to sustainable limits.

The Committee is made of four representatives from Government and three representatives from Organised Labour and are expected to submit a report on December 28.

The MoU read, “We believe that Government and Organised Labour can work together in the spirit of social partnerships to resolve all outstanding issues to make the Debt Exchange Programme successful towards restoration of macroeconomic stability and economic recovery.”

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