KEYNOTE ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE HON. REGIONAL MINISTER, DR. ARCHIBALD YAO LETSA ON THE OCCASION OF THE 2018 REGIONAL MAY DAY CELEBRATION HELD AT THE GOLDEN JUBILEE PARK, HO, ON TUESDAY, 1ST MAY, 2018
HON. MEMBER(S) OF PARLIAMENT,
HON. MUNICIPAL AND DISTRICT CHIEF EXECUTIVES,
HON. ASSEMBLY MEMBERS,
REGIONAL SECRETARY OF TUC,
LEADERSHIP OF ORGANIZED LABOUR,
REGIONAL COMMANDERS OF SECURITY AGENCIES,
HEAD OF DEPARTMENTS,
GALLANT WORKERS OF THE VOLTA REGION,
FRIENDS OF THE MEDIA,
DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
It is my pleasure and privilege to join our hardworking and cherished workers to mark this year’s Regional “May Day” celebration and deliver the Keynote Address. On behalf of the President of the Republic Ghana, His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Chiefs and people of the Volta Region, the Regional Coordinating Council, and on my own behalf, we wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to Organized Labour for the invitation extended to us to celebrate this memorable occasion with you.
Furthermore, I view it important to add my voice to the leadership of Organized Labour and to also warmly extend welcome and best wishes to all invited guests and personalities who have travelled from far and near, to grace this great occasion and to share in the joy of workers to mark the Regional May Day celebration in Ho. To all of you, we say, “MIA WOEZOR”.
BROTHER CHAIRMAN, FELLOW WORKERS, DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
The choice of the theme for this year’s May Day celebration, “SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND DECENT WORK; THE ROLE OF SOCIAL PARTNERS” is very relevant and appropriate since there is no better opportunity for us to develop our country which will lead to an improved standard of living for our people than to vigorously pursue the implementation of the seventeen (17) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to foster economic growth, ensure social inclusion and protect the environment.
The SDGs encourage a spirit of partnership between the Government, the private sector, workers and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), with the support of the United Nations Organization. This partnership ensures that the right choices are made to improve our lives in a sustainable way and also for future generations.
As we may be aware, Agenda 2030 has five overarching themes, known as the five (5) Ps: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships, which span across the 17 SDGs. They tackle the root causes of poverty covering areas such as hunger, health, education, education, gender equality, water and sanitation, energy, economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, inequalities, cities and communities, consumption and production, climate change, natural resources, peace and justice.
Therefore, for these laudable goals to be achieved, and in particular, Sustainable Development Goal Eight (8), which explicitly shares that by the year 2030, Decent Work and Industrial Growth should be achieved. Towards the achievement of this objective, it is imperative for Organized Labour to resolve to do everything possible and necessary to partner government and lend your unflinching support to accelerate the growth and development of the economy to create more jobs which will lead to an improved standard of living for our people.
Furthermore, as a government, we believe that the best approach and strategy to job creation is for people to be empowered with skills and knowledge to become productive and independent.
DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
Decent Works according to the International Labour Organization (ILO) involves opportunities for work that are productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in decisions that affect their lives and equal opportunities and treatment for all women and men.
More importantly, there are three (3) main factors that ensure that decent work is achieved and these include:
• The need to ensure that a safe and clean working environment is available to all workers to enable them maximise productivity. Logistics that employees need to perform their responsibilities should be provided for them.
Furthermore, there is the need to provide risk insurance for all employees to protect them in times of emergencies. Also, the physical structure which houses workers should be safe and meet all safety standards to avert disasters. There is the need to also ensure that there is no psychological intimidation of employees.
• Secondly, gender inequality has to be dealt with decisively. There is the need to ensure that all people are given equal opportunities to advance in their career progression irrespective of their gender. Furthermore, there is the need to ensure that remuneration is based on the work done and not affected by gender. Women who occupy the same positions, and perform the same duties as their male counterparts must receive the same remuneration for the job performed. Also there is the need to ensure that sexual abuse and sexual intimidation is done away with at our workplaces.
• Last, but not the least, there is the need to ensure that remuneration at the workplace is based on the services offered by employees. Employees are not to be underpaid by their employers. There is the need to also ensure that Training and Development opportunities are provided for the employees to build their capacities for enhanced performance.
BROTHER CHAIRMAN, FELLOW WORKERS:
It is very important to note that the above laudable SDGs can only be achieved with the effective collaboration of all stakeholders, including the United Nations, the government, Organized Labour as well as our Development Partners, Civil Society Organizations, and the Private Sector so that collectively, they are able to pursue a common agenda that will pull resources together to build a just, fair and prosperous society where there is an equitable distribution of our wealth to achieve prosperity for people.
Admittedly, whilst the Government as the largest employer is making strenuous efforts towards ensuring that the SDGs and decent work becomes a reality, it also behoves on workers to contribute their quota towards ensuring that the objectives or mandates of your respective workplaces are achieved. READ FULL SPEECH