Dr Edward Kofi Omane-Boamah, the Minister of Communication
Dr Edward Kofi Omane-Boamah, the Minister of Communication

The government on Monday appealed to organized labour to respect the court order by calling off their strike, while negotiations continues.

Dr Edward Kofi Omane-Boamah, the Minister of Communication
Dr Edward Kofi Omane-Boamah, the Minister of Communication

On October 31, government secured an interlocutory injunction from the High Court which compelled 11 labour unions to call off their strike in order for their members to return to work and render services to the nation.

Dr Edward Kofi Omane-Boamah, Minister of Communication, speaking at a press conference in Accra, said it was government?s expectation that workers would in accordance with this order as the laws stipulate comply with the court’s order.

It will be re-called that on October 21, labour unions namely Health Services Workers Union, Ghana Registered Nurses? Association, Ghana Medical Association, Ghana Physicians Assistants Association, Government and Hospital Pharmacists? Association, Ghana Association of Certified Registered Anaesthetists, and the Ghana National Association of Teachers decided to go on strike.

The rest are Teachers and Educational Workers? Union, National Association of Graduate Teachers, Civil and Local Government Staff Association, and the Judicial Service Staff Association whose members embarked on a strike action on matters relating to the implementation of the new Three-Tier Pension Scheme, especially Tier Two.

?It is regrettable that some labour union leaders speaking to the press after the court?s order have sought to suggest that they will defy the court.

?Let us all as Ghanaians remain committed to respecting our judiciary and avoiding any conduct that risks plunging our country into a state of lawlessness and anarchy,? the Minister stated.

?Government wishes to stress that in exercising the right to go to court, it was guided solely by the supreme interest of all Ghanaians and the need to end the suffering we are going through as a result of this strike action.?

He said the action had taking a huge toll on Ghanaian children including the children of workers in public schools who had been denied tuition over the period, while Ghanaians in need of medical care had also been turned away at public health facilities.

Dr Omane-Boamah said: ?The suffering associated with this strike action remains unconscionable and unmeritorious because as I speak here and now, no worker has been denied his/her benefits under the Tier Two scheme.

?The Tier Two scheme is a Defined Contribution arrangement which guarantees benefits for all eligible workers including the first batch of workers going on pension from January, 2015.

?While this guarantee exists for people going on pension, same cannot be said for the ordinary Ghanaian if this strike action proceeds any further with its attendant complications.?

He said it was an immutable fact that human life lost could never be recovered, stating that ?even a human organ lost or damaged as a result of delayed or postponed health care service may be very difficult if not impossible under our circumstances to recover?.

The Minister assured that government would continue to work hard to put people first, stating that ?as a Social Democratic Party, Pensioners are our key constituents?.

Dr Omane-Boamah observed that improved life expectancy as evidenced in Ghana in recent years came with the subject of Retirement Income Security for Pensioners; ?this is the bigger picture which is informing Government?s quest to secure the future of worker?s pensions?.

He said the Tier Two Pension funds that had accrued so far were safely kept by the Bank of Ghana and had been prudently invested for the benefit of pensioners.

?We wish to state unequivocally that Government will never be mean spirited. Organised Labour, Pensioners, the poor and vulnerable are and continue to remain our natural allies. By working together we shall surmount this temporary challenge,? the Minister said.

?The bottom line in all pension matters across the world is the protection of citizens when they are old and vulnerable.?

He added, ?that responsibility rests with government, hence the need for government to take keen interest in the management of funds set aside for that purpose?.

The Minister denied claims that it has transferred Pension funds to Pension Trust Alliance to purchase Merchant Bank.



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