The secretary-general of Ghana’s Trades Union Congress (TUC) Dr Anthony Yaw Baah said the decision taken by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to lift the three-week partial lockdown of Accra, Kumasi, Tema and Kasoa was the right one.
Describing the impact of the Covid-19 health crisis on employment in Ghana as “mind-boggling”, Yaw Baah told the president that businesses were collapsing in almost all the sectors of the economy, many people had already lost their jobs and many more would have lost their jobs without the easing of these restrictions.
Yaw Baah made these comments on Monday when Akufo-Addo held discussions on measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
According to the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the country has a total of 1,042 recorded cases of the virus, with 99 recoveries and nine deaths since Tuesday.
“Yesterday, you eased some of these restrictions and emphasised that some of these restrictions must be complied with strictly. We think it is the right thing to do, given the dire economic consequences of prolonged restriction.
“The fight against this coronavirus is a shared responsibility. We think you and your government are doing what is expected of you. It is time for us Ghanaians to do our part as individuals by observing the safety protocols that will protect us and others from this deadly virus,” said Yaw Baah.
The TUC boss also thanked all health workers, the security personnel, utility workers, the media and all other workers, as well as the ministries of health and information for providing all the essential services to the people of Ghana during this crisis.
“You risk your lives every day to protect the rest of us. You have made us very proud as workers’ leaders and so we pray that God blesses you abundantly. Mr President, that is why we appreciate the incentive package that you have put together for health workers.
“These workers deserve the package. The tax reliefs, the 50% salary increase, will provide the incentive for them to work even more diligently as we continue this fight against the virus,” he added.
With workers resuming work from Monday, he urged all local branch division and national unions to work with their employers to ensure strict compliance with the various protocols in the fight against the virus.
He added that all the national and regional parades that have become the main feature of May Day celebrations in the country had been cancelled in compliance with the ban on public gatherings.
Yaw Baah reassured Akufo-Addo that the working people of Ghana would continue to play a role in the effort to restore growth to the economy so that businesses would flourish once again and workers could keep their jobs, while the unemployed would also find jobs.
“Finally, they should be able to defeat not only the coronavirus but also poverty,” he said.