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July 7, 2017

Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) has expressed grave concern about what it describes as “alarming rate” at which businesses are adopting non-standard forms of employment, which threatens the welfare of workers.

Describing it as a threat to workers’ welfare, the Union is unhappy with the increasing non-standard jobs such casual work, outsourcing, and short-term employment contracts.

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A statement issued by the TUC after its General Council meeting in Accra last Thursday for a mid-year review of the socio-economic and political situation in Ghana, said “these practices should not be allowed to continue.”

“Increasingly, workers are being hired on a short-term contract basis by third-party employment agencies. Those employed are mostly young and unskilled.

“Some of these agencies are taking advantage of the weak labour administration institutions to abuse the rights of these young and vulnerable workers,” said the statement signed by Dr Yaw Baah, Secretary General of TUC.

Citing some of the adverse effects of the non-standard jobs, the Union explained that recently, a young man who is only 21 years old lost his right arm in the course of work. According to the Labour Department, he was employed by a third party but not directly by the company where he worked.

“There is confusion about who is responsible for his handicap and who should pay compensation. The Mawarko case is another typical case where a manager blatantly abused the rights of a female worker,” it noted.

To help address the situation, the TUC called on the government to provide resources to the relevant labour administration institutions “to deal with those who are abusing workers’ rights.”

Without resources, it said the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and its agencies, the National Labour Commission (NLC), the Labour Department, the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), and the Factories Inspectorate cannot effectively deal with the ever-increasing labour-related issues in their current weak state.

Recently, the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union (GMWU), expressed worry about the increasing conversion of standard jobs to non-standard jobs in the mining sector, which it said was putting the well-being of Ghana’s mineworkers in jeopardy.

According to the Union, hike in the offer of non-standard jobs (fixed contract employment) instead of the well-known standard jobs (permanent full-time employment), is also creating uncertainty for work in the country’s mines.

It indicated that among other adverse effects, the new system diminishes the workers’ right to collective bargaining and unionisation.

By: Nii Adotey/

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