Organised Labour says it will commence an indefinite strike beginning December 27, 2022, over the government’s intention to launch a debt exchange programme.
Dr Yaw Baah, Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), announced this during a press conference on Monday.
He said the exemption of pension funds from the planned debt exchange programme will make union rescind their decision
The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the Ghana Medical Association, the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association of Ghana, and the Teachers and Educational Workers Union were all present at the briefing (TEWU).
The TUC had previously warned the government to exempt its members’ pension funds from the debt exchange programme.
They argue that the scheme will negatively influence the security of their retirement income.
After a thorough analysis of the debt exchange programme and an extensive discussion among the leadership of TUC and affiliates, Dr. Baah said, “our conclusion is very firm. And it is that the programme will negatively affect the pension funds of our members and consequently their retirement income security.”
“Already, pension is low and we would have thought that our government will do everything to protect the small pension we have. Instead, they are introducing programme inspired by the International Monetary Fund to cut further pension income. Therefore, the Trades Union Congress and all its affiliates have decided that the pension funds of our members will not be part of the domestic debt exchange programme,” he argued.
Furthermore, Dr Anthony Yaw Baah said, the Union has written to the Minister of Finance to demand that all pension funds that have investments in government bonds be taken out of the internal exchange scheme.
“…we are also demanding in that letter that within one week from today, the government should publicly announce that all pension funds, including SSNIT are exempted from the debt exchange programme. Again, in the letter, we have served notice that if government fails to accede to our demands within one week, we will advise ourselves,” the TUC General Secretary stated.
Meanwhile, the government of Ghana has extended the deadline for enrolling in the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme until December 30, 2022.
Minister of Finance, Ken Mr Ofori-Atta explained that the extension is to allow for major concerns highlighted by stakeholders to be accommodated in some manner.
“Following the stakeholder engagement, government has agreed to extend the expiration date for the domestic debt exchange programme to 30th December 2022,” he announced.
By: Bernard Ralph Adams | Metrotvonline.com | Ghana