Improve living conditions of prisoners – TUC to Mahama

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the Upper East Region has urged President John Mahama to improve the deteriorating living conditions of prisoners in the country’s prisons.

Upper East Regional Secretary of the TUC, Augustine Adongo Apambila at this year’s May Day celebration at the Center of Sports in Navrongo under the theme ‘Election 2016: The Role of Workers in securing peaceful elections for National Development’, bemoaned the deteriorating facilities in the prisons.

He also described the feeding rate for prisoners as unacceptable and impressed on government to take urgent steps to enable prisoners receive the right correctional services to improve their lives after their release from prison.

“Our engagements with the prison authorities indicate that the conditions in our prisons are not only poor but they are deteriorating faster. For instance, the feeding rate for each prisoner is currently GHC1.80. This rate was fixed by late president John Attah Mills in 2009 and has not seen any further increment though commodity prices in the market keep fluctuating.”

“We appeal that, the GHC1.80 daily feeding rate for prisoners which is too meager for their survival be increased substantially by government to improve the wellbeing of prisoners”, Mr. Apambila stated.

He noted that, some prisons did not have well equipped workshops to train inmates in technical and vocational skills to be productive when they are released from the prisons and urged government to commit to addressing some of these challenges.

Workers in the region marched through the principal streets of Navrongo with their grievances on placards saying a 10% pay increase cannot compare to 50%-60% increment in utility tariffs.

“Government help us retrieve our monies from DKM”, we need issue-based campaigns free of insults” among others were some of the messages they conveyed.

Touching on the standard of living of the Ghanaian worker, Mr. Apambila lamented the poor living conditions of workers noting that market realities portray harder times for Ghanaian workers than what the inflation figures show.

He said TUC will continue to impress upon government and parliament in their engagements to review the Energy Sector Levy law and the quantum of levies imposed on workers.

Mr. Apambila appealed to government to integrate the over 500 employees with expertise in custom classification and valuation, who lost their jobs through the non-renewal of license of the Destination Inspection Companies(DICs) to augment government revenue collection.

He bemoaned the increasing spate of the abuse of workers’ rights by some companies in the country and called for a swift action by government to protect the rights of workers.
In the end, hardworking members from labor union groups were awarded seven LED television sets and five NASCO refrigerators.

By: Fred Awuni/