Mr Daniel Nii Kwatei Titus Glover, Deputy Minister of Transport and Member of Parliament for Tema East, has appealed to Labour Unions in the country not to embark on their planned street march on May Day.
The Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) has announced that on May 1, which is workers’ day worldwide, a procession of workers would start at 07:00 hours from the Obra Spot at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle through Farisco traffic light to the TUC head office, old Polo grounds and then to the Independence Square for addresses from President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and the TUC Secretary-General.
This is the first time a workers’ procession would be held to mark May Day as hitherto, workers converged at the Independence Square with placards having inscriptions on labour, social and economic issues, where they marched and listened to addresses.
Mr Glover said the proposed march on the street looked more like a demonstration than celebration of May Day adding, “It’s more like a demo ooo, I want to implore the leadership of the TUC not to go by the demonstration way you want to go”
He added that “we want to see you as associates, as allies in the general transformation agenda of our country, and I think for you to break the status quo and behave more like a demonstration is farfetched, the days we used to demonstrate from Obra Spot is past”.
According to him, the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) government led by President Akufo Addo had not had any problem with the labour unions recalling that government had dealt well with labour issues including the clause of job loss and duration of the takeover in the Electricity of Ghana (ECG) and Power Distribution Services (PDS) concession.
Mr Glover stated the President and Labour and Employment Minister had not slept on any labour issue brought to their attention, imploring them to use laid down channels to solve their problems if they had issues that they want government to know.
Meanwhile, Mr Brighty Wereko-Brobbey, Deputy Minister of Labour, says the May Day march was not going to be that of an ‘aluta’ type, “It is a peaceful March. They have indeed discussed with honourable minister, they want their presence to be felt and some of them want to charge and sing their songs”.
Mr Wereko-Brobbey explained that government and labour had a very cordial relationship making some people to speculate that the executives of the labour unions were even in bed with government.
He indicated that, “These days, things have changed and that we do not have to be on ‘aluta’ before our issues are heard, not this time, communication has changed and we are constantly talking to labour, the good thing is that the tripartite has given essence in labour or in government”.
He indicated that the tripartite was a strong body made up of government, unions (labour), and employers stating that it was so strong to the extent that the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations had designated an office for the tripartite, which he chairs.
He added that the office now had a coordinator with a standard office in the ministry dealing with among other things workers welfare and labour relations, stating that these were things they were doing to make sure that the labour front and issues were a give and take affair.