Today Is Workers’ Day
Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah
Workers across the country and the world at large will mark May Day today.
It’s a statutory holiday, which is characterized by parade and speeches of encouragement by political leaders.
Workers also pour out their hearts through their leadership on May Day.
Over the years, the day has been used as a channel through which workers agitate for improved conditions of service sometimes rowdily in some parts of the world.
As it has always been since independence workers under the aegis of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), the umbrella organization for Organized Labour would converge on the Independence Square to listen to the speeches of the President and Secretary General of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) in T-shirts with inscriptions depicting their various unions.
A release issued by the TUC indicated that workers would converge on Obra Spot, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, and take part in a procession through the Farisco Traffic Light area towards the TUC headquarters, near the Accra Technical University.
They would proceed to the final assembly point, the Independence Square, where they would be addressed by President Akufo-Addo and the TUC Secretary General, Dr. Yaw Baah.
The themes for every May Day are specially coined to encompass the concerns of workers. This year’s event is themed: “Sustainable Pension For All: The Role Of Social Partners.”
The President would expectedly lay out many life-enhancing programmes of government for workers since assuming the reins of power a little over two years ago.
He would also tell workers what he has done and continues to do through his administration to enhance the standard of living of all workers and the people of Ghana.
Ghanaian workers would demand better pension scheme, among others, which are dear to their hearts through the TUC.
Some companies have not been enthusiastic about labour unions operating in their folds, as they see this as a recipe for unrests and disincentive for productivity, but the unions are adamant that without them the country cannot develop effectively.
Labour unions have been around for a long time, and Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah somewhat used them in the nationalistic struggle in the pre-independence days.
However, during the Gold Coast, they were isolated groups without the strength, which comes with unified bodies and coherence.
Such togetherness could have signaled the colonial authorities to wonder whether there was going to be a violent agitation.
But after independence, organized labour benefitted from the socialist ideology of the Kwame Nkrumah, with his international socialist proclivity playing a crucial role.
The construction of the TUC headquarters at its current location gives evidence of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in the labour movement.
May Day celebration could have started with the 1886 walkout by some 13,000 workers in Chicago, US, which lasted for eight hours or so.
The celebration is a serious exercise in especially socialist countries.
By A.R. Gomda