Maritime and Dockworkers Union of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) says it is deeply worried about the rate at which the cedi is depreciating against major international currencies.
It is said the trend has eroded the value of incomes of workers in the country, and therefore, urged government to rapidly address the situation to make life bearable for the ordinary worker.
The cedi remains in a slump, hovering between GHC3.80 to GHC4.00 to the US dollar.
This was contained in a resolution of the 59th Regular Session of the National Executive Council of the Maritime and Dockworkers Union union held in Accra recently.
The resolution also urged government to, as a matter of national importance, institute measures to address the erratic supply of power in the country.
Read below the full resolution
RESOLUTION OF THE 59TH REGULAR SESSION OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (NEC) OF THE MARITIME AND DOCKWORKERS’ UNION OF TUC, GHANA, HELD ON 12TH DECEMBER 2014 AT THE HSWU HOSPITALITY CENTRE IN TEMA
The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Maritime and Dockworkers Union of the Trades Union Congress of Ghana discussed and adopted the report of the National Secretariat of the union at its 59th NEC Session held on 12th December 2014. The 59th NEC Session deliberated on important issues relating to the maritime industry, the Energy Crisis, workers’ rights, the Trade Union Movement, the national economy and the Global situation. The 59thNEC Session hereby resolves as follows;
Council notes with serious concern that the rate of depreciation of the cedi is eroding the real value of incomes of workers.
Council notes further that increased inflation and the increasing rate of depreciation of the cedi against other currencies are worsening the living conditions of workers with its attendant negative effects on productivity.
Council calls on government to take immediate steps to address the increasing rate of depreciation of the cedi and inflation which are worsening the living conditions of working people.
Council expresses deep worry that the Energy crisis had created job insecurity for many workers in addition to worsening economic conditions which had eroded the purchasing power of workers.
Council is of the view that the energy crisis had gone on for a long time because government had not supported its emergency interventions with the needed financial resources and policies to end the energy crisis (Dum-Sor).
Council is of the view that if the energy crisis does not stop now, it would result in irreparable harm to the survival of companies and permanently destroy some jobs.
Council believes that Ghana has the resources to develop immediate, medium and long term measures to end the energy crisis and therefore calls on government to support its claim of commitment to end the energy crisis with investment in the energy sector.
TAX EXEMPTION ON OVERTIME
Council notes that overtime work is a sine qua non for efficient maritime operations. Council expresses concern that tax imposed on overtime work had become a disincentive for maritime employees to undertake overtime.
Council recalls that maritime employees in the past enjoyed tax exemption on overtime which resulted in increased productivity and efficiency in port operations.
Council therefore calls on government and its tax agencies to restore the exemption of tax on overtime for maritime employees to increase productivity and efficiency in port operations.
LONHRO ATUABO PORT
Council re-iterates its position that the establishment of the Lonhro Atuabo Free Port is a violation of PNDC Law 160 which grants absolute right for Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to plan, build, operate and regulate ports in Ghana.
Council condemns the granting of the right for the construction of the Lonhro Atuabo Free Port as an action which undermines national security and national sovereignty.
Council is of the view that government’s definition of the Lonhro Atuabo Port as a Freeport and the placing of the Atuabo port under the Free Zones Board is aimed at circumventing the violation of PNDC Law 160 which grants GPHA the right to build and regulate ports.
Council is deeply worried that the granting of the right for the construction of the Lonhro Atuabo Freeport would strip our coastline of its legal protection for unbridled investment by foreign companies which would undermine national security and national sovereignty.
Council is of the opinion that the Parliament of Ghana did not act in the interest of Ghana when it approved the contract agreement for the Atuabo Port project even when it is obvious that the contract agreement undermined national security and national sovereignty.
Council questions the rationale behind the granting of the right to a private multinational company to construct a strategic and security facility such as a port.
Council is of the view that the construction of the Lonhro Atuabo Free Port which strips GPHA of its legal protection marks the beginning of the privatisation of ports in Ghana.
Council calls on government to stop the construction of the Lonhro Atuabo Free Port as a matter of urgency.
Council expresses its determination to seek engagement with government on this important matter.
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS FRONT
Council expresses deep concern about the poor working conditions of some maritime employees which results from the desire of some maritime employers to maximise profit at the expense of workers’ rights.
Council notes that some employers have adopted overt and covert strategies to intimidate employees from joining trade unions.
Council notes further that some maritime employers have adopted methods aimed at intimidating media houses that report on poor working conditions of employees in some companies especially multinational companies.
Council calls on all maritime employees to be vigilant and be ready to provide solidarity to media houses and friends of working people who would face any acts of intimidation from employers in the course of working to expose violations of labour rights at the enterprise level.
Source : Maritime and Dockworkers Union