African Government urged to promote labour laws to protect the rights of workers

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As part of effort towards promoting and protecting the right of workers, African Governments have been urged to invest in social dialogue and strenghten labour Institutions in order to meet the aspirations of workers.

Addressing the press at the end the 4th conference of leaders and delegates from labour Unions in Africa, the General secretary of TUC -Ghana, Dr. Yaw Baah said African governments have failed to enforce basic laws that offer protection to workers and as well as Institutions that are mandated by law to enforce labour laws have also failed due to a reduction in budgetary allocations.

This according to the General secretary has ” emboldened some local and foreign employers to abuse the right of African workers with impunity”.

He said the conference also deliberated on the acute shortage of decent employment on the continent.

He noted” the challenge of rising joblessness is disproportionately affecting young people driving them into all manner of anti- social situations. Job seekers are compelled to sign away their rights in a tight employment market”.

He therefore indicated that the conference has resolved among other things to embark on sustained campaign aimed at changing the nature of economic policy in areas such as macroeconomics, trade, labour market and wage.

He added ” the federations will work with other progressive partners to develop alternative economic framework that delivers jobs and serves the needs of Africans”.

The conference further discussed the issue of ending violence and harassment in the world of work including gender- based discrimination.

“the conference has noted with concern the continued challenges women face in the labour market because of their gender”. he said

The conference again asked the unions to work towards the ratification of the ILO convention and recommendation and ensure that their tenets are domesticated in the laws of their respective countries.

Other agenda discussed included the changing nature of work through technology, artificial intelligence and African continental free trade which has the potential to increase intra-African trade and investment.

The four days conference held in Accra on the 2nd to 5th of August 2019 was under the theme ” Promoting and protecting the Rights of workers in Africa”.

The conference brought together TUC, Ghana, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), The Congress of South African Trade Unions(COSATU) and Central Organisations ofTrade Unions of Kenya ( KOTU-K)

Also in attendance were International Trade Union confederation(ITUC-Africa), and the organisation of African Trade Union Unity(OATUU).

Story By: Ebenezer Kofi Amponsah

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