The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has bemoaned the effect rising inflation is having on workers’ salaries, saying employees are now the worst-hit by the current economic crisis.
This is because salaries were negotiated last July 2021 when inflation was 9 percent, but has risen to 19.4 percent at present. As a result, workers’ earnings have been completely washed away and they are struggling to keep up with skyrocketing cost of living.
“The situation is very bad. Prices of goods and services are going up, and so if salaries are not adjusted to reflect these phenomena, workers will continue to struggle,” TUC’s Secretary General, Dr. Yaw Baah, told the B&FT.
He spoke at a pre-May Day forum in Accra themed: ‘Protecting jobs and incomes in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond’, and urged employers – both private and public – to be sensitive to their workers plight in these difficult times.
“In July 2021 when we negotiated public sector pay for 2022, inflation was 9 percent. Today inflation is 19.4 percent and that is even the average, it is more than that if you go into details. Even prices of water have gone up by 27 percent,” he lamented.
He said the challenges currently faced by workers are dire, and that employers need to be flexible with their policy of fixing workers salary at the start of the year and not willing to sit at the negotiation table in the course of a year, regardless of prevailing market conditions.
“If your salary is determined in January and inflation goes as high as 19.4 percent in the first quarter, and until next January you will not get a salary increase, do you think that is fair?” he asked.
The TUC believes employers, especially those who produce and sell, must counterbalance the plight faced by their workers with adjusted salaries which reflect the current economic climate.