The Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) has urged the Akufo-Addo government to manage the COVID-19 National Trust Fund devoid of political affiliation.
The GFL General Secretary, Mr Abraham Koomson, who made the important call on Dwaboase on Power 97.9 FM Tuesday morning noted that the purpose of the fund will be defeated when politicians manage the fund that is expected to cushion some Ghanaians as the country combats the Coronavirus pandemic.
Parliament passed the COVID-19 National Trust Fund Bill 2020 last Friday.The trust will receive donations for disbursement and also make provisions for how the trust should be managed.
The Fund’s Board of Trustees were inaugurated by President Akufo-Addo last week. It is chaired by former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, who will see to it that contributions and donations from the public to assist in the welfare of the needy and the vulnerable in the country is put to good use.
The other members of the Board are Archbishop Justice Ofei Akrofi, Jude Kofi Bucknor, Gifty Afenyi-Dadzie, Elsie Addo-Awadzie, Dr Ernest Ofori-Sarpong, Dr Tanko, with Collins Asare as its Secretary.
This was after the country confirmed over 100 cases.Ghana’s COVID-19 cases count is now 287 with 5 deaths as of April 6,2020.
Greater Accra is still leading with the most cases the country has confirmed.
Reacting to the pandemic that has killed over 7000 globally, Mr Koomson said most employees in the country are scared of losing their jobs, thereby calling on the government to engage the workers’ union such as the Ghana Employers Association (GEA) and the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and listen to their concerns and help them preserve jobs as the country combats the deadly virus.
“The workers are really scared about their job security in view of the serious concerns and their intention to disregard the Collective Agreements signed with the unions under the circumstances,” Mr Koomson told host Kwame Minkah.
He added, “The government should elevate the conversation on the Trust Fund to a crisis committee which will involve all parties and not only NPP party fanatics” to ensure that jobs are protected.
“The president should not trust the people around him because they are misleading him on these issues,” he further advised.
Mr Koomson’s call comes after the Ghana EmployersAssociation (GEA) appealed to the Government to create an Emergency Fund to help address the financial challenges or fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement signed by Mr Alex Frimpong, the Chief Executive, GEA, made available to the Ghana News Agency, said businesses could access the fund for the payment of workers’ salaries, procurement of raw materials and working capital, among others, during these critical times of COVID-19 if they were to retain employees on their respective payrolls.
On the potential impact on employment, the statement said a good number of businesses, especially sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, were likely to review the employment relationships with their workers including some potential lay-offs.
It said in such a situation there would be the need to engage the Trade Unions concerned or the Workers’ Groups through negotiations and dialogue on the financial implications of the lay-offs since the disruption of the employment contracts may not have been contemplated by the parties.
Touching on potential business closures, it noted that in the unlikely event of total business closures in the country, there would be the need for Government to support affected organisations in the following ways: payment of workers’ salaries for the period business closure, and payment of redundancy packages to affected workers.