Mr Kofi Asamoah, the Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress, (TUC) has urged stakeholders in the media and telecommunication industry to work collectively towards ensuring job security, while maximising profits.
He said the telecommunications sector had been making substantial investments in the national economy and reaping related benefits, but the number of workers permanently engaged in the sector did not reflect the investment made.
Addressing the 6th Quadrennial National Delegates’ Conference of the Communication Worker’s Union (CWU) of the TUC, at Bunso, Mr Asamoah said the sector contributed GH₵ 2.44 billion to the Gross Domestic Product, in 2014, quoting the records of the Ghana Statistical Service.
At the end of December 2015, he said, the National Communications Authority put number of mobile phone subscribers at more than 35 million.
Mr Asamoah, however, said: “New forms of employment are predominantly seen in the telecommunication sector and most new jobs in the sector are atypical.
“Employers in the sector have resorted to outsourcing, contract and other fixed term jobs…. First, the quality of such jobs is questionable, and in some cases the rights of workers, including the constitutional right to freedom of associations are abused with impunity.”
The Secretary-General said, sadly, the State had failed to regulate those new forms of employment and the agencies that supplied the contract workers, thus contributing to the abuse of the rights of workers.
Research, he said, had, however, shown that organisations whose workers had stable employment thrived better than those whose workers faced insecurity, fear, uncertainty, intimidation, among others.
He, therefore, urged employers, especially multinationals, not to stifle the rights of their workers to unionise because the unions in Ghana were interested in the survival and sustainability of all relevant entities.
Studies, he said, had shown that work places where the unions were active tended to be more productive than places without unions.
The theme of the Conference was: “New Forms of Employment in the Communication Sector; Implication for Labour Rights and Organising.”
Mr Victor Mario Coleman, the National Chairman of the CWU, said the theme for the occasion was apt as all workers in the communication industry needed to undertake a critical assessment of their roles towards meeting the emerging challenges of the industry.
He said the rise in redundancies in the sector had greatly hampered the activities of the Union, and the trend had to be reversed through the engagement of all stakeholders.
On the role of workers in the impending general election, Mr Coleman asked the members to preach peace, practice peace and promote peace.
He asked the media practitioners to play a gate keeping role to prevent the unguarded pronouncements of politicians and political commentators from gaining grounds.
Mr Coleman said: “We need a peaceful environment to build the nation hence the appeal to all political parties to show decorum and maturity”.
The delegates retained Mr Coleman as the chairman, Mr Henry Ayivor as the General Secretary; Mr Joseph Hotor as the Deputy General secretary; Mr Vida Ekuban Quansah as the Second Vice Chair and Mr Albert Tetteh as First Trustee.
Mr Felix Attuquaye Quaye and J.O. Ahinampong, were, however, newly elected as First Chairman and Second Trustee, respectively.