The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has called for a change in the existing labour laws of the country to safeguard the interest of workers against exploitation by employers.
At the launch of the report on minimum wage fixing in Ghana on Thursday in Accra, the Secretary – General of TUC, Dr. Yaw Baah said, the labour laws are not protecting workers of Ghana adequately as expected.
“In the previous labour law, we did not have labour brokers, thus, recruitment agencies. What it means is that, for instance, if you are working in a bank, you are an employee of a certain company which is bringing you to the bank,” Dr. Baah explained.
He further stated that, most workers are being paid below the minimum wage, which means that the laws are not working.
Dr. Baah said, “the law must change to protect the interest of the workers, adding, we need to change the laws to reflect the importance of the workers in enterprises.”
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is also campaigning for new models of wage determination, that will help raise earnings of workers in the country. This is necessary due to the low level of the minimum wage combined with the historically low level of earnings of workers in Ghana.
In 2005, the TUC and its member unions launched a campaign for a living wage. The campaign sought to change the focus of wage negotiations away from individual workers and their families. To arrive at the living wage, the drive proposed that food, healthcare, transportation, utilities, recreation and contribution toward social security should be considered.
Currently the minimum wage focuses on addressing the needs of the individual worker, without considering the needs of his or her family and dependents.
By Joshua W. Amlanu