An ongoing research by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Ghana, points to a dire consequence for the country in the coming years, considering the devastation caused by the deadly Coronavirus so far.
The labour research and policy institute of TUC has been analyzing the economic impact of the coronavirus, including the effect of the three-weeks partial lock of Accra and Kumasi, Secretary-General of TUC, Dr. Yaw Baah noted on Friday.
“Brothers and sisters, the disease has been with us just for about two months, but the devastation it has caused to our economy and social lives, it will take years to restore,” he pointed out.
Dr. Yaw Baah was speaking at this year’s May Day celebration that was virtually observed at the studios of the state broadcaster, GBC, with a handful of people including Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Ignatius Baffuor Awuah in attendance.
This is a remarkable shift from previous national celebrations which take place at the Independence (Black Star) Square that parade thousands of works to mark the day.
The theme for the celebration is: “COVID-19 in Ghana: the Impact on Employment and Working Conditions”.
The original theme for the day was on how labour unions can work with stakeholders for a successful 2020 elections but was changed due to coronavirus, Dr. Yaw Baah noted.
As of April 30, Ghana has recorded 2,074 cases of coronavirus with 17 deaths and 212 recoveries.
The Secretary-General stressed that the results he has seen from the TUC’s ongoing research show the “devastating effects of the health crisis on jobs, livelihoods in both the formal and informal segments of our economy”.
He mentioned how companies have been affected by causal and contract workers being laid off as they struggle to pay workers. Others have adopted a pay cut to stay in business.
He has however urged workers to see the fight against Covid-19 as a shared responsibility, and complement what the government is doing by “protecting ourselves and others from the virus; we all have to play our part”.
As the wearing of face masks has been made compulsory nationwide, Dr. Yaw Baah appealed to the president to consider supplying face masks to the most vulnerable especially the aged and persons with disabilities in societies.