Daily minimum wage, too meager – former MP

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Government has announced a 10 per cent increase in the daily minimum wage, which is to take effect from January 2018. It’s been increased from the current GHS8.80 to GHS9.68.

However, former Member of Parliament for Ablekuma North, Justice Joe Appiah has says the new daily minimum wage announced for 2018 by the National Tripartite Committee is insufficient considering the economic condition in the country.He described the GHC9.68, which is a 10 per cent increment from the current GHC8.80, as “small”. Following conclusion of negotiations on July 11, 2017, the National Tripartite Committee, made up of the made up of the government, the Ghana Employers’ Association and the Trades Union Congress of Ghana announced the 10 percent increment.

The Committee directed that “any establishment, institution or organization” whose daily minimum wage is below GHC9.68 to adjust its wages upward with effect from January 1, 2018.

“Any establishment, institution or organization that flouts the new rate shall be sanctioned in accordance with the law, a statement jointly signed and issued by the parties on Tuesday warned.

The former MP argued considering at the current economic situations, between GHC11 and GHC12 would have sufficed, more so when the average Ghanaian worker complains of high tariff and high standard of living.

“Mind you, we promise people to better their lives and it was based on those promises that they have given us power, so if we say because the economy is not in good shape, then let us stabilize it before we increase the minimum wage.

“I still think it is small, if it were at least GHC11 or GHC12  that would have cushion them a bit but 9.68 is still on the downside” he emphasized.

Mr Joe Appiah however believed that the government economic management team led the vice president Dr Alhaji Mahamoud Bawumia will soon put the economy on sound footing, adding “it is at that time people of this country will enjoy under the leadership of the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo” He also urged workers to rise up to the challenge and put in their maximum effort to help the government lift the ‘troubled’ economy from its current state to the benefit of all.

“I will make a passionate appeal to the handlers of the economy to desist from the big economic jargons, what people want is money in their pocket, not clichés such as GDP and micro or macroeconomic indicators but rather they are interested in how they will pay their bills, let us stop the big English,” he advised the government.
 
The National Tripartite Committee announced the new wage in a statement jointly signed by the Employment and Labour Relations Minister Ignatius Baffuor Awuah, for government; Terence Darko and Dr Yaw Baah for the Employers Association and Organised Labour, respectively.

The statement said: “Accordingly, the committee directs that any establishment, institution or organisation whose Daily Minimum Wage is below the new National Daily Minimum wage should adjust its wages upward with effect from 1st January, 2018.”

“Any establishment, institution or organisation that flouts the new rate shall be sanctioned in accordance with law,” the statement added.

By law it is illegal for any worker in Ghana to be paid below the minimum wage.
 
 
Adnan Adams Mohammed
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