President of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr Frank Serebour, has bemoaned that the Ministry of Finance has no regard for any organised labour group.
According to him, the ministry’s refusal to engage these groups before announcing the Domestic Debt Exchange programme is a sign of disrespect.
“We do not need an audience from the government, they know the right thing to do and who gets affected. They needed to engage us, it is respectful. Instead, the Finance Ministry has shown disrespect to organized labour. No organized labour should think the ministry has an aorta or respect for it,” he said on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem.
The medical practitioner stated that there were no prior meetings with government.
“There was absolutely no prior engagement with stakeholders and investors. The president initially stated clearly that there will be no haircut. We are shocked. When did we move from haircut to head cut?” he quizzed.
“We expected an engagement so stakeholders and government can decide on ways to mitigate the adverse effects of the debt restructuring. The pension bonds could have been exempted if there was any engagement.”
Dr Serebour stated his association had to react because the debt restructuring was going to affect them in the future. He added that consulting the organized labour union would have provided better results.
“With our line of work, our pension is very important to us. As such, we have invested our pension money in government bonds. The decision made by the government can affect us shortly hence we can not be silent about it.
“We invested in government bonds because we thought it was safer as the government is constant which means our future is secure.
“This new debt restructuring can affect our investments if inflation is not held down. Our investments will go to waste and as workers, we do not think that will favour us.”
Dr Serebour was aggrieved that government says there is hardship yet the government appointees have not been reduced.
GMA issued a press release on December 6, stating their displeasure about pension ‘haircuts’.
In the concluding statement, the association warned that “failure to exempting workers’ pension fund from ‘haircut’ may result in action that will disrupt the industrial harmony in the country.”
Following the announcement of the Debt Exchange programme by the Finance Ministry, TUC, GNAT, NAGRAT and other labour unions have expressed their dissatisfaction with the pension ‘haircut’.
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