Trades Union must fight to eradicate poverty and inequality – Unionist

Accra, An International Trade Unionist, Mr Nigel Flanagan, has called for a stronger and united trade union in Ghana to help fight poverty and inequality among workers.

He said the Union should particularly unite and mobilise all workers, especially, casual workers to ensure that their rights were respected and were treated fairly by employers. Only a trades union congress with a high moral conviction will work to ensure that workers and citizens, benefits from capital inflow by fighting inequalities, Mr Flanagan, who is also the Senior Organiser of Strategic Campaigns, Organising, Research and Education, (UNI SCORE), the department supporting UNI campaigns and organising work around the world, said at a training workshop held in Accra.

The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) in collaboration with UNI Global Union organized the training programme for media unions of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to help build their capacities in mobilizing media personnel to promote decent work.

The two-day workshop, was themed, Decent work in Media Unions in West Africa and it brought together, personnel from media unions including the Public Services Workers Union (PSWU), the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) and the Communications Workers Union (CWU).

Mr Flanagan, who commended the TUC in Ghana for being way ahead in union matters than most of their counterparts in the West Africa sub-region, said union leadership in the country needed to mobilize their membership to work to improve the economy and further impact in the living conditions of workers.

He said an Oxfam 2017 Report indicated that only a few individuals owned half of the world’s wealth currently and that promoted inequality and made more people, especially, employees, poor.

Power and wealth is becoming more and more concentrated and among a few people, increasing inequality in the world, he noted.

He, therefore, urged TUC to resort to the use of moral pressure in pursuing their ideals in ensuring that wealth was shared among all workers who contributed to build the world’s economy.

He said leadership should strive to find out about the issues of workers and build up campaigns around them, ensuring that no worker was cheated by an employer.

Commenting further on the world of technology, Mr Flanagan said the benefit of using artificial intelligence and technology should be shared among workers and not to deny workers of their jobs.

Technology could be employed to reduce the hours workers spend at work and not to deprive workers their job. Technology shouldn’t make people lose their jobs and go back into poverty, he said.

Mr Ekow Mensah, Programmes Coordinator of FES, said the training was organized for the leadership of the media Unions to enable them to be better equipped and better represent their memberships.

It is a form of education to both those at the local and national offices as well, he explained.

He expressed the expectation that participants would be empowered to mobilise their memberships towards ensuring a more decent work environment in the country.

The TUC is one of the long-standing partners of FES and their cooperation spans from capacity-building of trade union members to research on labour issues and position-building on national socio-economic policies and international trade unions.

Source: Ghana News Agency