General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union Solomon Kotei says both the formal and informal business sectors in Ghana, have performed terribly following the outbreak of Covid-19.

Speaking on NewsFile, Saturday, he said that productivity has stalled despite the gradual easing of restrictions after the pandemic caused a lockdown and a halt in various activities.

Mr Kotei stated that businesses are facing conditions that have made their futures uncertain.

Speaking on the ICU’s contribution to curbing the current situation, the general secretary revealed that the union had engaged stakeholders to determine various solutions.

“What we have done so far is to engage the respective employers under the enclave of the ICU and from the hospitality sector. Serious negotiations have gone on. At the level of the standing negotiations we have come to an agreement that salaries must be reduced by at least 50%,” he pointed out.

With regards to “the informal sector, I will say it is bizarre because they don’t have the regular income and they are relying on several other factors and conditions and most of them depend on the formal sector too,” he explained.

He pointed out that the unemployment insurance announced by the Minister of Finance in the just ended mid-year budget review was welcome news for all.

“Because the only social security we had was the SSNIT and we realized that it didn’t have any coverage for members in [the] circumstances we have found ourselves.”

“So coming out a with a special unemployment benefit scheme is welcome on board. At the moment committees are working hard to find out which premiums qualify for a payment and who are eligible to receive from the fund.”

Mr Solomon Kotei, however, pleaded with the various funding companies to put in place structures to cater to the needs of citizens in the event of such pandemics.

“Let us all in this particular bracket, whether we are getting fractions of our salaries taken off or going out with nothing and with no hope in the immediate future, hold ourselves up not to give up and explore.”

“Nothing ventured nothing gained, you have to drop from that institution and get something that will put body and soul together,” he advised.

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