Workers in the Central Region have appealed to the government for a Cost of Living Allowance (CoLA) of at least 20 percent for all public sector workers to cushion them against the prevailing hardships in the country.
They said the rapid depreciation of the Cedi, coupled with the galloping inflation in Ghana is pushing many workers below the poverty line, requiring urgent measures to salvage the situation.
Regional Secretary of TUC, Madam Cynthia Aba Sam Ananoo, who was speaking to the media said the proposed allowance would cushion workers against the high cost of living and prevent mass poverty among workers.
She said the allowance must also be extended to private-sector workers earning the minimum wage and pensioners taking home a maximum of GH₵300 per month.
Madam Ananoo maintained that the time had come for workers to be paid the living wage instead of minimum wage, adding that salaries must be adjusted to respond to the high cost of living.
She called on government to suspend all taxes and levies on all petroleum products to reduce the prices of fuel and ease the burden of citizens as the 15-pesewa reduction offered by government is inadequate, adding that the move would demonstrate that government is sensitive to the plight of the people.
She urged government to consider a review of the method of fuel prices adjustment, because the current method is adversely affecting consumers. “Government should also consider revamping the Tema Oil Refinery to refine petrol domestically. This will insulate us from the high fuel prices due to exchange rate fluctuations,” Madam Ananoo said.
She observed that the country’s economic recovery had not been as robust as projected as it was faced with challenges from multiple sources.
“Ghanaian workers’ income cannot take us home and government and other employment agencies must address it as a matter of urgency to rescue workers from extreme poverty,” she said.
Madam Ananoo also called on workers to help to accelerate the growth of Ghana as their leaders negotiate for better conditions of service on their behalf.