Organized Labour has expressed extreme satisfaction with Thursday’s one-day nationwide demonstration to draw the government’s attention to their economic predicaments.
It was dubbed: “We Are Suffering”, a sign that the Ghanaian economy has gone bad.
Secretary General of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), Solomon Kotei told Joy News’ Dzifa Bampoh “we are extremely satisfied; we really give thanks to God that all our expectations have duly been met.”
According to him, it was not a national strike. “It was just a demonstration. It is to ensure that all institutions and employers kept their work running,” he noted and thanked all the employers for coming out in their numbers to support a worthy cause.
Some thousands of workers across the country joined their colleagues to press home their demands from the government.
Mr. Kotei noted their resolution to the government included some prescriptions on how to run the economy and therefore expected some positive response soon.
“All we’re looking forward [to] is that government will begin very serious and committed negotiations with labour in terms of the issues that we have put across,” he said.
Meanwhile, four people have been reported injured in the Brong Ahafo region.
Police personnel in the area were reported to have fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.
Acting National Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Cephas Arthur told Joy News, the incident would be investigated and those found culpable would be dealt with.
Workers’ Day of Action: Thousands protest against economic hardship
Thousands of workers across the country massed up at designated points to protest what they say are the worsening economic situation.
The workers on Wednesday rejected an appeal from government to hold on to the demonstration as efforts were being made to address their concerns.
The one-day action was held simultaneously in all ten regions with Accra recording the highest turnout of discontented workers from all sectors of the economy.
Workers in both formal and informal sectors, including commercial transport operators and shop owners joined in the march, to register their frustration at government’s failure to take action on the economy.
At the Obra Spot at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle here in Accra, Joy News’ Beatrice Adu reported over 500 persons clad in red and black, had reported to take part in the protest march as early as 7:00 am.
They marched through the streets from Adabraka, TUC area, and were supposed to end at the Hearts Park but they diverted their course to the Independence Square where a petition was presented to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations Haruna Iddrisu.
Haruna assures hostile demonstrators of a reinvigorated economy
Minister for Employment and Labour Relations Haruna Iddrisu had to scream to impatient, angry and hostile demonstrators while assuring them of a better Ghana sooner than later.
“You have to break an egg in order to eat an omelet,” the minister said in a strained voice but the demonstrators hardly listened.
They were cursing, chanting, hooting and singing away their hardships caused by what they said was government’s harsh economic policies.
The minister’s address was to crown hours of protests by the workers who decorated the principal streets of Accra with red, and brandished many placards which were less complimentary to government.
“Somalia’s shilling is now stronger than Ghana’ cedi”; “John Mahama, Judgment Debt man”; “When stealing becomes the norm, rebellion becomes a duty”; “When the poor run out of food they will eat the politician;” some of the placards read.
The demonstration started rather slow at the Obra Spot in Accra around 8:30 am with a few thousands of protesters singing. Others joined later. Those who did not join, solidarized with the demonstrators, singing, waving their red clothes from their offices or in their cars.
The police were fully armed in their gears but were a lot friendlier and even more professional.
Ho: Workers ask Mahama to step down
Joy News’ Volta regional correspondent Ivy Setordzie reported that the demonstrators, drawn from various labour unions, converged at the Civic Centre in Ho around 6 a.m.
She reported that the Ghana Police Service mobilized about 200 men and women to provide security for the protesters.
Some of the placards the demonstrators held urged the president to resign while others also urged him to “use oil revenue to provide more infrastructures”.
Ivy Setordzie also reported that the demonstrators met the Volta regional Minister, Helen Ntoso to present their petition.
Organised Labour demo forces KATH doctors, nurses to abandon patients
Patients at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital, were left to their fate as doctors and nurses ditched them to join demonstrations at the behest of Organised Labour, Thursday.
The doctors joined the demonstrations to protest against economic hardship they claim has been brought on by the John Mahama-led administration.
Patients who went to the hospital for treatment on Thursday morning met empty consulting rooms and wards in what Nhyira FM’s Ohemeng Tawiah described as a saddening situation.
“The patients are unhappy because they have been here at the…hospital since morning for doctors and nurses to attend to them but unfortunately after waiting several hours without seeing them, they decided to leave”, Ohemeng Tawiah reported.
A disturbed patient who spoke to Ohemeng asked whether President John Mahama is really that helpless to salvage the deteriorating economic situation that is hitting everyone in the country.