Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen has incurred the wrath of the Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Union (TGLEU) as they accuse him of hatching a plot to divide the front of textile workers.
Alan Kyerematen has accused the Union of boycotting a meeting to announce plans to deal with the influx of pirated wax prints following protests by its members.
The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) which is the mother union for the staff of two textile companies participated in the said meeting.
According to the Trade Minister, it is regrettable that although TGLEU and its members were invited, they boycotted the meeting for unexplained reasons.
But General Secretary of TGLEU Abraham Koomson said the Trade Minister is being economical with the truth.
“TGLEU has been more concerned than any trade union in this country as far as the struggle against pirated textiles is concerned. The establishment of the task force was at the instance of TGLEU. For the Minister out of the blue to arrange that meeting without even informing us that it was not an ordinary meeting but a joint press conference we saw that we were going to be ambushed to be committed to a position which will not be good for the industry,” he said.
According to Mr Koomson, the Minister’s claim that TGLEU refused to attend the press conference is untenable and that any suggestion that ICU holds the majority of textile workers is saddening.
“It’s unfortunate for the Minister to get involved in trade union matters. If the intention is to break the front of the workers it will not work. We will never be divided,” he stated.
As part of measures to deal with the influx of pirated wax prints, Alan Kyerematen said the government will release the long-promised stimulus packages to the sector and dispatch anti-piracy task force into markets to scout and confiscate pirated textiles. He also said the Trade Ministry will liaise with Finance Ministry to roll out tax stamp on authorized prints by June 2018.
But TGLEU is sceptical about the said promises. Mr Koomson said the textile workers must sustain the pressure on the government to fulfil the said promises.
“What has changed? Why now? If the workers don’t sustain the pressure they will wait till 2020 when elections will be held then they will do something. Me I am not very sure that the Minister Hon Alan Kyerematen is committed to what he has put out there. He has done it just to play it fast on these young guys who are determined to fight for their jobs,” he told Starr news.