Organised Labour has signalled that it will continue to demand wage increases which reflect inflation and the high cost of living if inflation continues to remain high; since this is the only way to guarantee a living wage and higher standard of living for workers.
Secretary-General of the TUC, Dr. Yaw Baah, made this clear at the 2023 May Day parade at Bolgatanga in the country’s Upper East Region on Monday.
He indicated that workers are feeling the effects of high inflation, high cost of living; the destruction of jobs and potential jobs, including an employment freeze in the public sector; as well as the debt crisis and effects of the domestic debt exchange programme on investors.
In fact, the UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) expects inflation to end the year at 38.1 percent on average, despite a slowdown in monthly inflation over most of the period. This is despite inflation having declined to an annualized 45% in March from 52.8% in February this year.
According to the UK-based organisation, growth will slow to 1.3% in 2023 as a cost-of-living squeeze, public spending cuts and monetary tightening by the BoG will cause domestic demand to contract for the first time since 2014.
Therefore, it is clear that Organised Labour is concerned about protecting decent jobs and is therefore calling for a review of national labour laws to protect jobs and incomes.
“Another measure government can take to effectively protect incomes is adopting a wage policy that indexes wages to inflation. In real terms, workers have suffered a very significant decline in their real incomes,” Baah stated.
It comes as no surprise that Labour chose to enunciate the issue of incomes and pensions, since the theme for this year’s May Day was ‘Protecting Incomes and Pensions in an Era of Economic Crisis: Our Responsibility’.
However, the EIU expects government to remain committed to fiscal consolidation during 2023-27, in a bid to bring public finances and debt back onto a sustainable path underpinned by an International Monetary Fund programme.
For his part, President Akufo-Addo emphasised that protecting incomes and pensions in an era of economic crisis is tied to increased productivity, enhanced revenue mobilisation, effective expenditure management and, in particular, effective and sustainable management of the public sector wage-bill.o-Addo emphasised that protecting incomes and pensions in an era of economic crisis is tied to increased productivity, enhanced revenue mobilisation, effective expenditure management and, in particular, effective and sustainable management of the public sector wage-bill.