The National Tripartite Committee (NTC) has begun the processes towards the determination of the National Daily Minimum Wage (NDMW) at the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) Conference Room in Accra.
The NTC members are Government, Ghana Employers Association (GEA) and Organized Labour. The Government side comprises the MELR, the Ministry of Finance (MOF), and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC). The Organized Labour was represented by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (GLOGSAG).
In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Committee and Minister for the Sector, Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah (MP) welcomed the Committee members after a long break in the hit of COVID-19 Pandemic.
According to the Hon. Minister, negotiations should have started earlier but has delayed because of the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. He indicated that the delay was no fault of anyone, adding that the Committee agreed last year in September 2020 to halt negotiations and resume meetings as soon as COVID-19 shows a decline in the country.
The Hon. Minister impressed on the Social Partners to come to the table with a clear conscience to ensure that workers enjoy decent work conditions despite the COVID-19 Pandemic and its attendant hardships.
Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah of the TUC, on behalf of the Organized Labour congratulated both Hon. Minister and his deputies on their renomination and indicated that he was personally happy that negotiations on the NDMW was starting. He further revealed that tension is being generated on the labour front, pointing that it was a step in the right direction to start the negotiations and further calm down workers. Dr. Baah reiterated that in the spirit of tripartism “We will arrive at a consensus”.
The President of the GEA, Mr. Daniel Acheampong, added that the Association was strongly impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. He emphasized how the hospitality sector was adversely affected by the pandemic resulting in many employees were either laid off or had their salaries slashed. Mr. Acheampong explained that a stable macro-economic atmosphere is vital for their operations and therefore, determining the NDMW is a step in the right direction. Consequently, he expressed how he was looking forward to an effective and fruitful collaboration.
As part of the process, Hon. Baffour Awuah tasked the Social Partners to get in touch with their constituents and nominate three (3) representatives each, who will, then, constitute the Technical Sub-Committee (TSC) to ensure wok proceeds in an orderly fashion. The TSC is expected to meet and submit a report to the NTC latest by 7th May 2021 for the actual negotiations to commence.