The General Secretary of the Health Services Workers Union, Franklin Owusu Ansah, has expressed his displeasure with the state of Ghanaian workers across the country, in recent times.

According to him, “the Ghanaian worker is not happy today”; especially health workers.

Speaking in an interview with Raymond Acquah on UpFront on Wednesday, he explained that, the widespread unhappiness and dissatisfaction amongst Ghanaian workers, is tied to the current challenges in the economy.

“The salaries of our working force is very low. It is not low because we are unable to negotiate better salaries. But it is low because of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Unfortunately, last year was a bad year for labour because, what we did negotiate was not good at all.

We negotiated for 4% for last year, and 7% for this year. Unfortunately, recent happenings in the economy, especially inflation, which nobody anticipated was going to go this high, has come to erode all the good things that the Ghanaian had”, he stated.

He added that, looking at the cost of transportation alone, it is obvious that the Ghanaian worker is feeling the brunt of the harsh economic conditions in the country.

Mr. Owusu Ansah made these comments while contributing to discussions on the ‘State of the Ghanaian Worker’.

Touching on the calls for increment in the salaries of public sector workers, he disclosed that he welcomes the advocacies in that regard.

In his view, following the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inconveniences that arose, many workers sympathized with their employers and accepted to comply with proposed austerity measures.

According to him, based on such considerations, he does not see anything wrong with workers asking for a rise in their earnings now.

In this regard, he stated that, after the Tripartite Committee, has completed its work on the determination of the new minimum wage, it serves as the basis for organised labour to firm their salary demands and present same to their employers and government.

Touching on the assertion that public workers are quick to call for increments, despite their low productivity, he vehemently dismissed such claims.

“I want to to believe that the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, has not even set the rules for measuring productivity. So it is preempting. If somebody says workers are not working, we want somebody to measure the productivity of workers to say that, this is the target I set for you.

You have not been able to meet it. Or this is what you are supposed to do, you are not doing it. But if it’s just a rhetorical thing somebody is continually repeating that workers are not working, will Ghana be where we are today?”.

Over the past of couple of days, the Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG), have been agitating over the failure of government to pay their ‘neutrality allowances’, amidst other concerns and grievances. According to the group, the failure of government to meet their demands, smacks of unfair treatment, hence the need for their demands to be met.

After embarking on a nationwide strike last week, the Association has also threatened that, it would participate in this year’s May Day celebrations, due to their unresolved outstanding demands.

But speaking to host, Raymond Acquah, Mr. Franklin Owusu Ansah, stated that, even though his sympathises with CLOGSAG, his outfit will participate in this year’s May Day Celebrations accordingly.

“May Day Celebration is for organised labour. Not for TUC, not for CLOGSAG. If CLOGSAG says because TUC is there I don’t want to participate, let it be so. It is for organised labour. The Health Service Workers Union (HSWU), is part of organised labour and it’s part of TUC. We will go ahead and celebrate May Day as we have always done it.

This year, all of us are marching to the Independence Square and we’re going to celebrate May Day massively. I can tell you that, for our memberships of over 30,000, HSWU, have procured May Day T-shirts for every member. Whether you’re going to the grounds or not. We are going to do it massively” he stressed.

As to whether, he and his colleague workers in the country will back down on the calls for salary increments to be pegged beyond the rate of inflation, amidst the current economic challenges, he responded that, the decision will be made at the negotiation table.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.