They have set an agenda to embark on a campaign to draw national attention “to ensure that we liberate a lot of workers in that angle”.
Delegates at the 9th Quadrennial Conference of the ICU have elected new executives to steer the affairs of the Union for the next four years.
This year’s Conference in Kumasi has been the most peaceful in the history of the Union. The previous congress was marred by a court injunction against election of national officers.
Victor Obeng Adu has now been elected as National Chairman, with Jim Petey-Gyan as Vice-Chairman and Solomon Kotei as General Secretary of the Union.
Others are Emmanuel Baah-Beninah, Deputy Secretary (Administration), Morgan Ayawine, Deputy Secretary (Operations), Emelia Assidi Amadu as First National Trustee and Naomi Nartey as the Second National Trustee.
The new leaders are tasked to seek the welfare of the 75,000 members of the Union in the years ahead.
General Secretary, Solomon Kotei tells Luv News one of ICU’s priorities is to curtail the casual worker syndrome within industry.
“From where we come from as ICU, countless number of our members has been thrown into that casual syndrome, especially in the area of factories and banks, where you could note that someone is employed as a casual but he’s doing the job as a normal employee, yet he’s not remunerated as such”, he observed.
Mr. Kotei said the Union will ensure enforcement of provisions in the National Labour Act which stipulates that casual staff are regularized as permanent workers after continuous six months of engagement.
The Union will also partner indigenous entrepreneurs, create forums to promote made-in-Ghana goods and engage interest groups to project locally manufactured products.
The ICU conference holds on the heels of a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) which has identified a widening gap between wage and labour productivity growth.
The ILO’s “Global Wage Report 2012/13: Wages and Equitable Growth” states that while the difference between the top and bottom income earners is increasing, and the labour income share is declining, globally.
Mr. Kotei acknowledged wage increment cannot be demanded when productivity is low, hence the need to pursue a win-win agenda in employer-employee negotiations.
“We’re going to drive a membership education that will open their eyes to accept the fact and challenge that if we don’t become co-owners of the business and ensure that not only are we able to produce and create but making sure that the economic cycle is complete by finding market for what we produce to enable us have the urge to demand what is due us”, he emphasized.