Business operators – formal and the informal sector have been urged to adopt innovative ways to stay in business amidst the ravaging effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Much of Ghana’s economic life has ground to a halt as statistics from a survey conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program and World Bank revealed that 770, 000 workers had cut in their wages and 42,000 workers lost their jobs.
The Acting General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), Morgan Ayawine who revealed this, regretted that a good number of business operators in the country that the devastating effect of the COVID-19 had on the economy, are members of the union.
“Many organizations in the country, especially the hospitality and tourism sector are operating at half their production capacity, and others, too, have completely shut down resulting in a sharp decline in socio-economic activities and development in all facets of life. These entities which complement the efforts of the government in the area of job creation had suffered the brunt of the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic during the first wave in Ghana, as land borders and the international airport were closed, thus depriving them of the market since they derive their fortunes and financial resources from travelers coming from outside the country either on business or tourism”.
Mr. Ayawine who said this in Bolgatanga, during the Upper East regional conference of the ICU-Ghana underscored the need for the business industry to adopt creative and innovative strategies to stay in business.
“There is no way anybody can dream of the restoration of normalcy but we should rather have to think of a new way. We have to think outside the box, we have to be smart and do things anew. We at Labour Unions would always be looking up to the government, policymakers to formulate policies that will address the issue of unemployment amidst COVID-19”, he stressed.
The Acting General Secretary who said the banking sector cleansing and the impact of the COVID-19 affected rural banks in the country, called on the government to create an enabling environment for the banks to operate since “the country cannot continue relying on IMF for support but, but, as a country we can rely on the rural banks for support”.
The ICU regional conference was a prelude to the 11th Quadrennial Delegate’s Conference which serves as a forum to discuss the regional activities, conduct elections for the Youth, Women, and Regional Council as well adopt resolutions for the upcoming 11th Quadrennial Delegates Conference.
The Upper East Regional Industrial Relations Officer, Agamu Rudolf presenting a report of activities that took place between the years 2017-2021 said the union was concerned with the interest of members and attended to resolve some disputes between members and their employers.
“Some staff faced challenges in the form of victimization, dismissals, and other alleged misconduct that we have to come in. Currently, we have a case with Melcom that is still pending. We have some other staff who were dismissed and they were reinstated. The union within the four years in the region was concern in defending the interest of members and also help them to seek perfect working conditions for members”.
Despite the devastating effects the collapse of some microfinance companies and the Coronavirus had on businesses, Mr. Agamu stated that the informal sector in the region was able to train and graduated over 1, 000 trainees within the four years.
Mr. Agamu who declared zero-tolerance against abuses on its members pledged that “the union will continue to work for the interest of its members”.
The Upper East regional conference of the ICU-Ghana was also used to elect new executive members to steer the affairs of the union for another four years.
The executive members are Justin Ayaribisa as Chairman, Desmond M’Ba Awinguut as Vice, Hilda Adams as Trustee, Salifu Majeed as Executive member. The Regional Industrial Relations Officer also plays the role of the Regional Council Secretary.
Source: A1Radioonline.com|Joshua Asaah|101.1Mhz