The General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), Solomon Kotei, says the minimum wage in Ghana is not enough for anyone to live a comfortable life, describing it as a “survival wage”.
His comment comes a day after the tripartite committee comprising government, employers association and unionised labour increased the minimum wage by 10%, from the current Gh8.80 to GH9.68, effective from January 1, 2018.
“Minimum wage is just the level below which no employer should pay any employee, and so minimum wage is not a living wage but a survival wage”, he analysed on Onua FM’s morning show “Yen Nsem Pa” on Wednesday.
The labour advocate reiterated the current wage is not enough to cater for one person who even lives alone and trek to work.
“Just imagine you have a child and you decide to give the child 2 cedis every morning to take to school, you would be left with Gh7.68. And you also decide to feed on only 2 cedis a day, totaling 4 Cedis a day, the remaining 3 cedis cannot pay for your utility bills and rent”, he explained to Bright Kwesi Asempa, host of the morning show.
Meanwhile the Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wereko Brobbey, said the minimum wage is structured in accordance with the Labour Act, adding that a technical team had been set up to look into issues of wages in Ghana adding that in the next 3 to 4 months the report will be ready.
The deputy minister who is also Member of Parliament for Hemang Lower Denkyira revealed that “this is the first time a minimum wage has been agreed upon ahead of time, and this would reflect in the salaries of the workers as well as in the next budget”.
He further added that the tripartite committee took into consideration both the current and projected inflation rate before arriving at the 10 percent increment, but was quick to add that “we are even looking at inflation coming down by the close of the year and that is why we made the increment now”.
On ensuring that employers adhere to the new wage, the Deputy Minister stated that the ministry, through its Labour department, would ensure the new wage is implemented when it takes effect in January next year.
“Any employer who fails to adhere to the increment would be dealt with in accordance with the labour law” the deputy minister cautioned.
By Bright Dzakah/Onua 95.1fm/3news.com