Amend Temporary Workers Act to reflect ideals of "decent work"- ICU-GHANA

Accra, Oct. 31 GNA - The Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU-Ghana) has proposed the amendment of the Temporary Workers and Casual Workers Sections of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) to reflect the ideals of "decent work".

The ideals of ‘Decent Work’ means work that gives equal pay for equal work, an opportunity for personal development, ensures the future financial security of the workers and stop defaulters of the labour law forthwith.

Mr Morgan Ayawine, the General Secretary, ICU-GHANA, in a statement signed and copied to the Ghana News Agency to observe ‘Precarious Work’ day worldwide.

On the occasion, labour Unions expose and emphasise the evils of precarious work, who are classified as " casual" workers, which some organisations or employers surreptitiously practice under the guise of ‘outsourcing’.

Precarious work may be defined as “work that does not give equal pay for equal work, an opportunity for personal development, denies workers medical facility, deprives the workers of future financial security like social insurance (SSNIT and Provident Fund) and other pecuniary benefits like personal loan, rent advance, available to their colleagues in the same organisation who are classified as “regular” or “permanent.”

The statement said some of these precarious workers were not paid through the mainstream payroll, and denied the Tier 1, 2 and 3 benefits thus jeopardising their future financial security.

Also, by the same means, the government loses tax revenue from these workers since no tax deduction is made from their pay.

"This injustice is perpetrated by some unscrupulous organisations/employers in collusion with the so-called private employment agencies."

"Their modus operandi, sometimes, is to convert and transfer the whole regular or permanent workers in a department or unit of an organisation to the private employment agencies under the guise of ‘outsourcing’," it said.

These private employment agencies, the statement said ploughed back the workers into the same organisation and tagged them as “casual” or “temporary” workers.

They collect huge sums of monies from the organisations and pay a pittance to those unfortunate workers who have been ‘recycled’, as “casual” or “temporary”, who toil and sweat for the organisations in contravention of Section 74(2) of Act 651.

These precarious workers are denied the privilege of joining trade unions for the promotion and protection of their economic and social interests as provided under Section 79(1) of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) and also against their constitutional right under Article 21(1)(e) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

"The organisations found to be the culprits of this inhuman practice, take undue advantage of Section 74(1) and Section 75(1) of Act 651 to manipulate and skew the individual contractual agreements they enter into with the casual and temporary workers in their favour and cheat by denying them equal pay for equal work," it said.

The statement said government, employers and Trade Unions had the binding duty to relieve these classes of workers from their plight to secure their future financial security.