The members of the Tema District Council of Labour (TDCL) have given a one week ultimatum to the government to, as a matter of urgency, convene an emergency National Tripartite Committee Meeting to discuss the minimum wage, or it would advise itself.
According to them, they were shocked when the government unilaterally slapped the astronomical increase in the price of petroleum products from 15 to 50 percent on the poor workers and their families without consulting the stakeholders, especially the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
‘Whilst we are contemplating the price increases and have not yet recovered from the shock, the TDCL is again disappointed in the government’s intention to increase tariffs through its PURC and VRA propaganda machinery that have been making all the unnecessary noise to justify the intended tariffs increase.
‘We see this as a deliberate attempt to worsen the plight of workers, and we want to tell the government, PURC, and its allies that we workers can no longer bear this intended tariff increase, as it would be another unbearable burden on us,’ they stated.
This was contained in a resolution signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the TDCL, Wilson Agana and Ebenezer Kodwo Taylor, respectively, and addressed to the Minister of Employment.
The Tema workers said they were expecting that while the government was made frantic efforts to increase prices of petroleum products, and intended to do same with the utility bills, it should have come out with the national minimum wage, yet to no avail.
‘When government increased salaries of all government and state officials under article 71 of the 1992 Constitution to astronomical heights just before the December elections, we are surprised that as of now it has not bothered to talk about the national daily minimum wage.’ they stated.
The TDCL also touched on what it described as the government’s intention to sell Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), saying they had been following discussions and developments currently ongoing in the petroleum sector targeted at selling the nation’s only refinery.
They disclosed it was not true what some government officials want the whole world to believe that TOR cannot be self reliant, and that it had now become a liability instead of an asset to the state.
They claim that all TOR needed was for the government to resource it to be able to purchase crude oil to run the refinery.