About 2,000 members of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) Ghana, have expressed anger at what they describe as mismanagement of the country’s economy by government.
According to the workers, the situation was crippling industries in Tema.
An estimated 13,080 workers have lost their jobs as a result of government’s mismanagement of the economy, particularly the energy crisis (dumsor) which has put pressure on industries.
The workers yesterday embarked on a demonstration against the government in Tema.
They wielded placards with inscriptions such as ‘System failure: Mahama government reboot now’, ‘Impact of the new tariffs will kill us,’ ‘Dumsor: Tema industries most affected,’ ‘Mr. President our families are suffering,’ ‘Dumsor, high tariffs, cedi depreciation affect business.’
The protest was under the theme, ‘The State of The Economy and its Effects on Ghanaian Workers.’
Solomon Kotei, General Secretary of ICU-Ghana, who spoke to the media after the protest, stated that his outfit would not tolerate bad government policies that had made life unbearable for workers.
He said the rapid depreciation of the cedi against major foreign currencies in the country had imposed untold hardship on workers.
The ICU-Ghana General Secretary presenting the petition to Isaac Ashia Odamtten – Tema MCE
Mr Kotei said, ‘Our observation is that the formula is only applied when the world market oil prices go up, but when they fall, it is not applied. It is a breach of faith and the social contract with the people of Ghana which has brought untold hardship on Ghanaians.’
He said excessive taxes and levies only strangulate Ghanaians, adding that it is unacceptable.
‘Taxes in all forms – PAYE, corporate tax, Communication Service Tax, SMS tax, overtime tax, import, export and excise duties, VAT, NHIL, direct and indirect taxes, etc are all eventually passed on to workers and the populace who are the ultimate consumers,’ he stated.
He appealed to the government to immediately abolish overtime tax, SMS tax and review income and Communication Services Tax in order for more workers to benefit.
Touching on the current energy crisis, Mr. Kotei called for immediate steps to boost supply of power to stall the retrenchment of workers by various companies.
‘If government does not immediately address the situation, ICU Ghana would have no other option than to hit the streets again,’ according to him.
From Vincent Kubi, Tema
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