ICU Calls On Gov’t To Save The Private Sector
By: Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh
The Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union, (ICU)-Ghana, has expressed worry about the myriad of challenges confronting the industrial sector, warning that if nothing is done it would spell doom for the economy.
According to the ICU, the private companies are most affected and expressed the fear that if not tackled with the urgency it deserves; the situation is likely to assume something else.
Official records of the Union points to the fact that since year 2010, minutes of meetings between the Union and most employers seems to have some amazing commonalities; employers complain bitterly about the threat to their survival with some of them showing the tendency to close down their businesses.
Some have even gone to the unfortunate extent of notifying the Union of imminent laying-offs, these were contained in a statement issued by the General Secretary of the ICU Ghana, Mr Solomon Kotei in Accra.
ICU, as the largest industrial labour union in Ghana is currently organizing over 75000 employees in various occupations across the sectors of the economy including those in the informal sector, it noted.
. The statement stated: ‘Currently, we are struggling to appreciate the threat from employers to embark on redundancy exercise to trim down their workforce as a first measure to salvage the situation. Our records show that there is a flood of letters of notification to the Union of layoffs, ranging from three to seventy workers’.
It continued: ‘Our position is that, what is happening to industry now should not be toyed with, especially, when one comes face to face with the reality on the grounds’.
The statement noted that the unbridled open market economy in Ghana has, in one way or another, compounded the situation of the local industry. Ghanaian industries are finding it difficult to attempt any legitimate increases in prices of their products because of the battle with very cheap and substandard imports, it emphasized.
The ICU is gradually sensing the formation of a dark cloud over Ghanaian local industries saying: ‘Some years ago, ICU cried aloud, cautioning that the open economy has the potential to kill our textile industry’.
Probably little attention was given this fears. Now the Chinese have taken over the market while we look on helplessly as Akosombo and Volta Textiles are virtually strangulated and gasping for support. If we keep saying let’s grow what we eat, let’s eat what we grow, let’s wear what we produce and let’s sell what we produce and these things are still happening, then ICU, just like any other individual, will not need a soothsayer to say that the future is bleak for the economy, the union stressed.
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