Government signed a Social Partnership Agreement with Organised Labour for a stronger collaboration, harmonized industrial relations and government policies.
Parties involved in the agreement were the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations representing government and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Ghana Employers Association (GEA) representing Organized Labour.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would culminate in the formation of a 19-member Council to provide a platform for the parties to deliberate and work together to accelerate Ghana’s development.
The agreement will among other things, provide a medium for building a sense of cohesion, trust and open discussions on commitments to mutual sacrifices and contributions from all stakeholders to champion development.
It would also be expected to undertake analysis on key development issues, advice government on it, provide a platform for reaching national consensus on development issues and allow organized labour to work with government to deepen and sustain the country’s macro-economic gains and ensure irreversibility.
At the signing ceremony, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta said the partnership would ensure that every economic policy of government had the ample input of organised labour for a robust economy.
According to Mr. Ofori-Atta, after ending the Extended Credit Facility with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it was important that all ideas were brought onboard to avoid the circumstances under which Ghana goes to the Fund for assistance.
“Even though we have made important progress in stabilizing the macro-economy, we are under no illusion regarding the important social-economic challenges that still confront us as we stringently march towards economic independence and structural transformation.
“These are complex and multifaceted problems that transcend the competencies of any single stakeholder, therefore, we need a structured and concerted approach towards tackling these challenges and helping to secure the important macro-economic gains we made under the just ended IMF programme,” Mr. Ofori-Atta said.
Confident that the partnership would accelerate inclusive growth and transform the Ghanaian economy, expand opportunities and create jobs to better the lives of the citizenry, the Finance Minister said government was looking forward to engaging constructively with Organised Labour in order to deliberate and build consensus on critical political, social and economic issues.
Dr. Yaw Baah, the Secretary General of the TUC, who signed on behalf of the Congress, commended the government for opening itself up for such an agreement adding that his outfit was ready to offer its best to help steer the affairs of the country.
In his view if the social partners were involved in deliberations on economic matters of the country instead of keeping such conversations within the domains of the government alone, the country would not need the IMF to whip it in line with the management of the economy.
“We can manage the economy of this country without going to the IMF,” he declared to loud applause from the audience made up of various labour unions.
President of the Ghana Employers Association, Dan Acheampong on his part said it was a collective responsibility for all to work together to maintain the macro-economic stability.
Oblivious of the fact that nothing works in an unstable economy and that all stand to lose in such an economy, Mr Acheampong charged all parties to collaborate to ensure that the Memorandum of Understanding was not only on paper but becomes beneficial to the country.
Officials from both the Finance and Employment and labour Ministries, as well as selected workers from Trade Union Congress and Ghana Employers Association attended the short but colourful ceremony.END