The challenging business environment continues to result in more job losses in the industrial sector as the number of affected workers has now quadrupled from the initial five hundred and fifty (550).
Latest information from the Industrial and Commercial workers Union (ICU) indicate that about two thousand (2000) workers are now likely to lose their jobs by June unless the business environment improves. This is based on the official communication the union has received from about 60 major companies (including both local and multinationals).
According to the General Secretary, Solomon Kotei, some of the companies are even considering a complete shut-down.
“I can say that looking the sizes of the companies that are having this conversation compared with ICU membership of about seventy four thousand workforce, if these are the key companies that ICU deals with, then of course, if the situation remains as it is, by June over two thousand workers may be affected.
“We are talking about companies with a workforce of not less than eight hundred. And so if they say we would have to do massive redundancies, then your guess is as good as mine, that they could be looking at laying off a quarter, a third or even half of their workforce to enable them at least break-even and survive to meet the good times when there is economic recovery.”
He also outlined the factors accounting for the development adding that the power crisis has only compounded the woes of the companies.
“In fact if you talk to the Association of Ghana Industries and the Ghana Employers Association, and we being fortunate to deal with these two employer bodies, you will get to know that businesses are not doing well and this stems from two major factors.
“The first is the over-liberalization of the economy which has made it possible for the importation of cheap and inferior goods which are posing unfair competition to locally-produced ones.
“Also is the failure of the country to hold the parity of the cedi to the foreign currencies which is making planning very difficult for the local companies whilst the competition is also making it practically impossible for them to keep changing the prices of their products everyday,” he concluded.
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