High dollar rate could cause more job losses – GEA warns

Business News of Saturday, 22 September 2018

Source: goldstreetbusiness.com

2018-09-22

Alex Frimpong, CEO, GEA

The Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA), has said government needs to consider broader policy issues that could potentially compel businesses to dismiss workers in the wake of current job layoffs.

Between July and August this year, an estimated 1800 people lost their jobs as a result of bank-takeovers by the BoG. In 2017, the collapse of UT and Capital Bank affected the employment of some 900 people who lost their jobs.

However, the GEA noted that some broader policy issues must have a place on government’s priority list in order to tackle further job losses.

“As we speak, the business environment is very critical. The question is how do businesses survive and grow in an environment where though inflation is still in a single digit currently at 9.9 percent in August from 9.6 percent in July, the dollar rate is nonetheless creating difficulties for businesses,” GEA’s CEO, Mr. Alex Frimpong told the Goldstreet Business.

Members of the association, Mr. Frimpong said, sometimes borrow at 30 percent from the banks to run their businesses.

“This and many others are the key issues bothering us and it’s not in the interest of companies to dismiss workers, but such could happen when it gets off the limit. GEA members will look at the environment and situate the survival and otherwise of their business and see whether dismissals are a thing to consider,” he said.

GEA is worried, that the influx of counterfeit goods and substandard products in the Ghanaian market from approved and unapproved border posts, could trigger further collapse of businesses.

The problem, is gradually compromising the health of citizens, and revenues which are supposed to accrue to government for national development are being diverted and thereby reducing potentials for job creation, he worried.

With participation of up to 900 members, the GEA reveals it will engage various governmental agencies concerning major policy issues which are militating against business growth.

The association admitted that current issues concerning layoffs goes beyond the Employment and Labour Relations Ministry.

“We are preparing discussions with the Trade Ministry concerning the influx of counterfeit goods. We’ll approach the Finance Ministry on the micro-economic management and the BoG which controls the banking environment. The conversation will be escalated beyond the Employment Ministry,” Mr Frimpong maintained.

Established in 1959, The GEA promotes and protects the basic interest of employers and serves as their mouthpiece in negotiating wages, minimum wage and allowances, human resource and industrial relations matters on behalf of employers.


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