New minimum wage to be signed today

Negotiations on a new minimum wage are set to be concluded today.

Ahead of that, President John Dramani Mahama, has called for cool heads to prevail when the Tripartite Committee sits to resolve matters and reach an acceptable agreement.

Addressing workers who participated in the May Day parade at the Black Star Square in Accra yesterday, the President said, “I am hopeful that tomorrow when the negotiations resume, all the tripartite partners will return to the table to determine a new minimum wage based on good faith and at the same time our common interest as a nation.”

Reports that came out last Wednesday suggested that the government had agreed an increment of 14.5 per cent in the minimum wage, which meant a jump from GH¢5.25 to GH¢6.01.

But Mr Abraham Koomson, the General-Secretary of the Ghana Federation of Labour, told the Daily Graphic during the May Day parade that at the close of its last meeting, the Tripartite Committee had gone beyond six per cent and might even go up again.

Confirming the negotiations, the Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress, Mr Kofi Asamoah, said in his address at the parade that the final decision would be signed tomorrow to cushion workers against the harsh economic conditions. Peaceful rally

The rally was organised in a peaceful atmosphere, with workers expressing their concerns over various issues on placards.

They carried the placards as they marched past the dais where President Mahama took the salute.

One notable incident was when members of the Railway Workers Union attempted to force their way to present a resolution to the President who was already up taking the salute.

They were prevented from doing so by the security detail.

But the President appeared to have surprised everybody when he asked the security personnel to allow the workers to present the resolution, which they did through their leader. Productivity

Mr Mahama told the workers that while they had every legitimate right to press for improved conditions of service, they must equally look at how to increase productivity, as the two issues were bedfellows.

He gave an assurance that the government would continue to work with organised labour to get the best for the Ghanaian worker and improve national development. Obligation

Mr Mahama said he had an obligation to ensure that not only workers in the public sector but also every Ghanaian enjoyed the fruits of the nation.

“We must, therefore, work together to ensure that the situation where we spend two-thirds of our tax revenue on wages and salaries, at the expense of goods and services and capital investment, is reversed,” he said. Praise

The President was full of praise for Ghanaian workers for their hard work that had seen the nation make significant strides in its development efforts over the years.

He said as a social democratic government, his administration would continue to view labour as a natural ally, adding, “The welfare of workers has always been the priority of social democrats.”

He said the theme chosen for the May Day celebration, “Ghana’s Economy, a Concern for all”, was appropriate because it demonstrated the determination of labour to see a better Ghana for all.

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