Kpessah Whyte aplogises to labour union heads

Kpessah Whyte aplogises to labour union heads
Source: Ghana||Nathan Gadugah
Date: 25-10-2014 Time: 12:10:40:pm

A presidential staffer  Dr Kpessah Whyte has apologised to leaders of labour unions who he accused of lacking the expertise to negotiate forcefully on pension related issues.

"I don't think the comment was intended to malign or was intended to cast doubt on anybody. It was made in the context of a specific policy issue.

"...If they feel insulted then i apologise," Kpessah Whyte said after the president of NAGRAT Christian Addae-Poku raised an objection to his comments.

The Presidential Staffer in discussing the ongoing strike action by public sector workers on Joy FM's newsfile programme questioned the ability of the leaders of the various unions to expertly negotiate on the issues of pension.

He said having scanned through the profiles of the leaders of the various unions, he was sure that none of them had the expertise to forcefully negotiate on pension related issues.

That comment was first criticised by a panel member Nana Akomea, who thought the comment was condescending and an insult to the leaders of the workers unions.

But Dr Whyte was convinced Nana Akomea was playing petty politics with the issue and attempting to pitch the workers against him.

But the President of NAGRAT who called into the programme did not also take kindly to the comment by Kpessah Whyte.

Christian Addae-Poku minced no words in his protest and demanded an apology.

The apology finally came with the presidential staffer clarifying that he did not intend to question the competence of the leaders of the labour unions.

Public Sector workers belonging to 12 labour unions have announced an indefinite strike action that has left doctors and care givers abandoning their patients; teachers abandoning the class rooms and possibly judges vacating the courts.

They are unhappy with government's handling of the tier two pension scheme. The workers want to select their own fund managers to manage the five per cent under the tier two pension scheme but government says it cannot allow the individual unions to select and manage their schemes.

In reaction to the strike, government sued the various unions describing the strike as illegal.

The writ, among other things is asking the court to make a pronouncement that government is indeed the employer and also to declare the strike as illegal.

The labour unions are unfazed and have expressed their readiness to meet the government in court.

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