Mr Kofi Asamoah, Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), has acknowledged Ghana’s economic growth rate for the past years in the context of a global economic and financial crisis.
He however noted that such unprecedented economic growth rate achievements of the country failed to create decent jobs for Ghanaians hence the high rate of unemployment among the people, especially the youth.
“The reality however is that the unprecedented growth rate like the periods of the structural adjustment policies in the 1980s had failed to create decent employment for Ghanaians” he emphasized.
Mr Asamoah called on government to put in place a package of support measures for the private sector, which is considered as the engine of growth, to provide decent jobs for the teeming youth.
He made the call at the Eastern Regional Council of Labour meeting in Koforidua on Tuesday.
Mr Asamoah said the state would not be able to provide the needed employment for the teeming jobless Ghanaians if the present situation of importing everything into the country continues.
He urged government to empower indigenous Ghanaians in the productive and manufacturing sectors to take the commanding heights of the economy, which would serve as the only way of providing jobs to the thousands of young men and women coming out of universities and other tertiary institutions.
Mr Asamoah also urged government to review the nation’s trade policy and the unbridled trade liberalization regime that places domestic firms in unfair competition against “mature” and highly subsidized firms in the developed countries.
He identified one major problem confronting manufacturing sector in the country as high interest rate of banks and urged government as a matter of urgency to undertake strategic intervention in the money market to bring down cost of borrowing.
Mr Asamoah said the situation as it stands now was not ideal since the banks were holding the rest of the business community to ransom by charging exorbitant interest rates even as inflation tends to fall and the Bank of Ghana primes rate was systematically reduced.
Mr Asamoah expressed concern about violation of workers’ rights by private employers as many companies refused to allow union formation.
He said decent employment entailed the right of workers to freely associate and organize for purposes of collective bargaining and that both men and women at work could freely participate in decision making that affect their lives as the law states.
Mr Asamoah urged Ghanaians to ensure that the peace they are enjoying is maintained beyond the election. The Eastern Regional secretary of the TUC, Ms Francisca Borkor Bortey, commended the various unions for organizing well during the year and urged them to propagate the message of peace.