The Ghana Federation of Labour is entreating its members to remain focused and stick to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2022 with government on the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme.
The Federation is further reaffirming its position of being exempted from the DDEP.
Organised Labour on February 1, 2023, issued a statement threatening to fiercely resist any attempts by the government to rescind its decision, following government’s revised terms on the programme and inconsistent pronouncements by some government communicators.
The deadline for signing up for the programme which ended on January 31, 2023, was extended to February 7 for further engagement.
Government earlier exempted pension funds from the DDEP after labour unions threatened to embark on strike.
Speaking on The Point of View with Selorm Adonoo, the Deputy Secretary General of the Federation, Kenneth Koomson said they need to drum home their position to their members hence their meeting on February 1, 2023.
He assured their members that the MoU which they signed with the government exempting pension funds from the programme still stands.
“Today’s meeting was to inform our members to get their feedback and then to give feedback to government. The meeting decided overwhelmingly that we should remain focused and stay with the MoU that has been reached between government and Organised Labour,” Mr. Koomson explained.
The Deputy Secretary General of the Federation added, “Pensions are clearly exempted from the ongoing DDEP, and we signed that MoU with government. And so we needed to constantly remind the parties that we are bound by the covenant if you so permit. And so any attempts by any group of persons, be it agents or representatives of government that appears to give an interpretation for which may be perceived as twisted, we have an obligation with our members to correct it”.
The meeting he stressed was, “to update members of the Organised Labour which constitutes about 130 different trade unions as per the engagements we have had so far with government. And also to dismiss uncertain terms speculations that pensions have been absolved under the DDE”.
He noted that the statement was to reaffirm that pension funds exemption remains unchanged.
“It’s a clear statement out there to assure our members, rank and file across the country that the position of Organised Labour still stands, unchanged and that pension funds have been exempted from the DDEP,” Mr. Koomson reiterated.
Organized Labour in a three-point statement issued on Wednesday said:
“1. Per the Agreement between the Government of Ghana and Organised Labour, signed on Thursday, December 22, 2022, with the Finance Minister, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta and Hon. Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, executing same on behalf of the Government of Ghana and Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, Secretary General of TUC, on behalf of Organised Labour, paragraph 1 stated as follows: “Government has decided to grant exemption to pension funds in the DDE Programme.”
Organised Labour hereby reiterates that this position is final as far as the involvement of Pension Funds in the DDEP is concerned. By this, Organised Labour and ALL our Pension Schemes are not participating in any DDE Programme as per the aforementioned exemption from the government.
2. Any contrary communication or position is alien to us and should be dismissed by all well-meaning Ghanaians. Any attempt to go contrary to this agreement will be resisted by Organized Labour.
3. We assure all workers of Ghana that, Organised Labour will continue to safeguard their interest at all times.”