The Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress, Dr. Yaw Baah says the Union will force government to leave IMF programs.
Ghana and other African countries have been relying on the IMF for bail outs economically. The latest for Ghana has been a three-year bailout program to return the country to economic stability through prudent spending and revenue generation. The austerity measures under the agreement are very unpopular with labour.
Speaking on 3FM’s Sunrise morning show which was transmitted live from the TUC Conference Hall, Thursday, Dr. Baah disclosed that the TUCs of Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa have been in partnership since 2010 and one of the outcomes is to get their governments off IMF programs.
“We have always advocated for what we call the alternative path because we believe strongly that this IMF driven policies will not work for Ghana. IMF is there to make sure the international financial system is stable and they won’t allow you to do things especially when we are far off in terms of development so we are advocating for an alternative path and this must be a home grown path that involves all stakeholders.”
He added, “There are home grown policies and government is claiming that the homegrown policies that we had agreed on at Senchi served as basis for negotiating with IMF, but I can assure you if government of a small country like Ghana with a GDP of less than 50 billion is negotiating with IMF, you can imagine. It’s a mouse, elephant kind of fight and so you can’t achieve much.
“That is why we want to focus on our own policies and that is why we agreed in South Africa to force our governments to leave these IMF driven programs. They won’t help us and it’s obvious, especially in Ghana.”
Asked about how they are going to force government to leave the IMF programs, he responded that they will use their four strategies;
“First, we will get all the unions or organized labour to think the same with us, because this was only TUC, we will use our collective bargaining and negotiation to try and get it done. As we joined the government at Senchi, it was part of our strategy, and if this fails, you know better than I do.”
Dr. Yaw Baah would not commit himself to say they will embark on a strike if all fails. When pushed by show host Winston Amoah, this was his response:
“This is a long strategy, this is a strategy we are going to achieve over a long term, and it’s not from today to tomorrow. So when the time comes, I’m sure you will know.”
By Shirley Ewurama Smith/3News/3FM