This follows a warning given to the various labour unions by the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, that their constant demand for salary increment will only force government to cut jobs.
In an earlier interview with Citi News, Mr. Nketia served notice that “if all your workers are demanding higher wages in a situation where you are not making profits, you can only cut costs by reducing the number of people you have employed.”
“If unions are interested in employment generation, then they have to understand the implications of higher wage demands; agitation for higher wages in this time of crisis is not an option that we should be looking at currently,” he added.
There are increasing calls on government to increase salaries due to the frequent tariff and petroleum price adjustments the country has witnessed within the first quarter of this year.
Government has also introduced a number of taxes as a means of raking in more revenue.
Ghanaians are now paying more for utilities and transport and other social services.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has on several occasions entreated government to take urgent steps to alleviate the plight of the people.
School children have not been left out. They are asking their parents to increase their daily pocket money since transport fares and food prices have gone up.
Industries are experiencing increased cost of production due to the unstable power supply and increased tariffs.
Sharing his view on the issue, Mr. Casely-Hayford simply said: “It’s pure and simple blackmail. You cannot phrase it anymore different. What he is telling us is that, if you demand more pay, you will lose your job so don’t demand more pay so you can keep your job. It’s blackmail!”
He cautioned government to think through its job cut threats because government in the next two years “will come to us and ask us to vote for them. Yet, you blackmail us and ask us not to ask for what we are entitled to.”
According to the Financial Analyst, the salary of the Ghanaian worker is “too low” noting that, although the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) has slightly alleviated the pressure, “we still have to pay people more.”
He observed that people cannot afford basic necessities of life such as food because “the economic flow of funds; the money flowing within the economy is not trickling down properly.”
Mr. Casely-Hayford insisted government has no right to threaten workers “and you should not threaten them that if you come and ask for more money, then be ready because, I will fire you tomorrow. It’s pure blackmail!”