The Trade Union Congress (TUC), Ghana has described the government’s desire to see through the construction of the proposed National Cathedral as a “destructive fixation and the cause of Ghana’s burden.”
The Deputy Secretary General TUC, Joshua Ansah, in an interview with Happy 98.9 FM’s Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show, disclosed that during its engagement sessions with the government and organized labour among other things called for a pause in the construction of the cathedral.
The group trust that such a project has constituted o the ruin of the country’s economy.
Mr. Ansah however indicated the government’s reluctance to consider the suggestions of the organized unions during engagements on the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme.
“When the finance minister launched the Debt Exchange Programme, the gov’t threatened to add our little pension funds to the programme and we had to stand against that decision. We later had to sign an MOU with gov’t that indicated that all pension funds would be excepted from the programme. The MOU also indicated that we’ll continue to engage and find other alternative ways we can all contribute to develop the country,” he told Samuel Eshun.
“We have started the engagement and we have made some proposals. We have suggested that there are so many things that gov’t can do to ease the burden on us as citizens. Some included the reduction in the government size and the National Cathedral including other projects should be suspended for later. We have made a lot of contributions that we feel the government can use those alternatives to ease the burden on us as citizens. Unfortunately, with things like this, the government is hesitant and unwilling to accept our suggestions,” he added.
On Wednesday, organised labour reaffirmed that it will uphold the government’s pledge to exempt all pension funds from the program’s domestic debt exchange (DDE).
According to a decision made by Organized Labor and stated in a statement released Wednesday afternoon, it will not participate in any Domestic Exchange Programs and will not authorise the inclusion of any of its Pension Schemes in any such Program.
The government on Tuesday extended its deadline for the DDEP yet again for one week, indicating that the new deadline for all bondholders to enrol on its programme is now February 7. The previous deadline was 4 pm on January 31.