The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) fears that increases in taxes and utility tariffs would impact negatively on labour, “where employers would be thinking about layoffs as a result of not being able to operate”.
Deputy General Secretary in-charge of Operations, Morgan Ayawine, says government’s high taxation drive demonstrates its insensitivity to the plight of Ghanaians.
“Since it is a general concern that utility tariffs should not go up in these trying times, it is equally not justified to burden Ghanaians especially poor workers with high taxes”, he stated.
The labour union believes tax hikes are not the panacea to addressing the economic challenges of the country, due to the high poverty levels.
“How many people are paying taxes in this country?” queried Mr. Ayawine. “Government can broaden the tax net to cover those who are dodging tax payment and that is a chunk of revenue that government can realize”.
He also observed that some employers are riding on the power outages as yardstick to negotiate low salaries for workers.
“It is out of place for employers to continually use the power outages as the only factor to deny our members the right salaries” said Mr. Ayawine. “We are going to ensure that our members are not cheated out. In the same vein we are also going to urge our members to work hard so that when we are able to increase productivity, we can all look into the kitty”
Members of the ICU in the Ashanti region have been deliberating on industry issues of at a regional council meeting in Kumasi.
Regional ICU Chairman, Kojo Instiful, emphasized the Union’s quest to spur cordial relationship between management and workers to deliver on mutual interests.