The government will continue to harness the prospects of the mining sector to transform the economy and improve livelihoods, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and Pensions, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, has stated.
According to him, the mining sector played a pivotal role in the Ghanaian economy, attracting over 50 per cent of all foreign direct investments, saying mining accounted for more than one-third of all export revenues of the country.
Mr Baffour-Awuah stated this at the 13th Quadrennial Delegates’ Conference of the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union of Trades Union Congress Ghana held in Obuasi on the theme “Building Trade Union Resilience in a Rapidly Changing World of Work: Strategies for 2024 and Beyond.”
The sector, the Minister said was the largest tax-paying sector in the country with significant contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) and employment.
He said data from the Ghana Revenue Authority on the mining sector’s fiscal payments in 2022 amounted to GH¢6.38 billion representing 18.6 per cent of aggregate direct domestic tax receipts.
The Minister applauded Labour for the diverse roles and immense contributions to Ghana’s development.
He specifically commended the leadership of the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union for dedicating their conference on the theme: “Building Trade Union Resilience in a Rapidly Changing World of Work: Strategies for 2024 and Beyond.”
The Minister said building the resilience of Trade Unions in a rapidly changing world of work was non-negotiable. He observed that building the resilience of GMWU was not only vital for the changing world of work but also the sustainability of the mining sector.
Mr Baffour-Awuah expressed the hope that discussions at the conference would reflect the concerns of delegates as well as meet the objectives of the conference.
The government will continue to give priority to trade unions including the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union of Trades Union Congress Ghana to contribute their quota towards national development, adding that the government would not renege on its responsibility in creating the enabling environment for trade unions to thrive.
The General Secretary of Ghana Mineworkers’ Union, Abdul-Moomin Ghana in his address called for a review of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651) to meet current labour needs.
He said the review would help address the current unfair labour practices and abuses to protect worker’s rights.
According to Mr Gbana, there had been a surge in workers and trade unions rights violations, shrinking collective bargaining coverage, and job insecurity in the mining sector.
The General Secretary of GMWU, for instance, said the use of contract work, casual and other non-standard for of employment had reduced standard employment to about 90 per cent as of 2022.
“While these non-standard forms employment provide employers with flexibility and enhanced profits, they often come at the expense of worker’s job security, benefits and bargaining power, posing challenges for labour and trade and trade union rights,” Mr Gbana, stated.
The General Secretary of GMWU also stressed the need for the government to pay attention to the strengthening and resourcing of labour administration institutions such as the Labour Department and the National Labour Commission, to ensure that workers’ rights were respected and that labour standards remain relevant and effective in the face of the rapidly changing world of work.
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Publish date : 2023-12-18 14:52:59