Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah has implored members of Ghana’s labor front not to despair as people who have no hope, adding together, we can make it work for us.
He assured that the government will continue to protect their interest, both in the formal and informal sectors and not only when in active service but also when on retirement.
Mr Darko-Mensah speaking at the Western Regional celebration of the 2023 May Day Celebration in Tarkwa noted that Ghanaians are living in an unprecedented time filled with unprecedented future uncertainty.
However, he said, “It was in times like this that evoke the best in us, we stand together, we take care of each other, and we act resiliently.”
He urged the Labour Unions to renew their commitments and understand the Government’s position to protect citizens’ incomes and pensions, safeguarding livelihoods, and shaping our economies into the ones that work for us.
On the way forward, he called for more cooperation and collaboration between the Government, the business world, and civil society to build resilient economies that can weather the storms of crises and improve people’s lives and incomes.
Mr Darko-Mensah recalled that, as part of social security reforms in Ghana, a new Pensions Act (Act 766) was passed in 2008, and a three-tier pension scheme was introduced with some objectives to provide pension benefits to ensure retirement income security for workers, and to ensure that every worker receives retirement and related benefits as and when due.
The objective was also to establish a uniform set of rules, regulations, and standards for the administration and payment of retirement and related benefits for workers in the public and private sectors.
He maintained that it was essential that the trade unions in the Region continue to ensure commitment to the call for being the preferred Region for investment and tourism destinations where indigenous people will own and retain the productive assets.
“As such, with the pursuit of this agenda, we are on course to nurture and grow the private sector to befit the youth. Yearly, it is the agenda of the RCC to bring businessmen and women together to network and grow their businesses through networking platforms such as the Black Tie and Business Excellence Awards Programmes”, he stated.
He implored them to support the Corporate Western Region/Enterprise Western Region initiative to improve the quality of life of all and further implored them to produce business plans and investment profiles which can be shown to investors when the need arises in order to accelerate the economic development of the region.
He deemed this year’s theme, “Protecting Incomes and Pensions in an Era of Economic Crisis: Our Responsibility” as timely and said it was for this reason that the Government was leaving no stone unturned not to disadvantage workers.
He indicated that the government has advocated and implemented policies that protect workers’ rights and ensure that everyone has access to a secure retirement investment including advocating for stronger labor laws, better social protections, and more equitable distribution of wealth.
He also urged the workers to see productivity as a responsibility to create and share since we cannot share what we have not created. “The Unions must support Government through innovative ideas to build this country.”
He commended the union members for their hard work, honor, and sacrifices, and recognized their achievements, especially in the current economic crisis the country faces, a situation that is affecting the whole world and has left many people struggling to protect their incomes and Jobs.
Mr Darko-Mensah applauded the leadership of the various unions and workers who were awarded for good performance.