President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given assurance that government would work hard to ensure the new Labour Bill is passed into law by the end of the year.

The Bill proposes substantial changes to the structure, architect, and judicial functions of the National Labour Commission (NLC).

When enacted into law, it is anticipated to address labour concerns promptly to maintain a stable labour environment, such as the swift resolution of industrial disputes.

Speaking at the 2024 May Day Parade at the Independence Square in Accra on Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo emphasised that addressing labour issues remained a priority of his government.

The theme for this year’s May Day celebration was “Election 2024: The Role of Workers and Social Partners in Securing Peaceful Elections for National Development.”

President Akufo-Addo acknowledged that disputes and disagreements were bound to arise in the course of work.

“However, when such disputes and disagreements emerge, we look forward to the responsible agencies for redress,” he stated.

President Akufo-Addo pointed out that over the years the government had noted the challenges confronting the NLC in the discharge of its mandate.

Consequently, the fundamental changes being proposed in the new Labour Bill are in tandem with the government’s policy of ensuring that the backlog of cases regarding labour disputes becomes a thing of the past.

President Nana Akufo-Addo disclosed that between 2017 and 2023, a total of 4, 207 cases were recorded at the NLC.

The Commission settled 2, 678 cases, representing 64 per cent of the cases it handled, leaving some 36 percent unsolved.

“The government in its quest for peace and security will continue to roll out policy measures in strengthening effective administration for the transformation of the world of work,” the president stated.

Peaceful elections

President Akufo-Addo also urged the citizenry to play their respective roles responsibly to ensure a peaceful general election on 7 December 2024.

He advised that it was in the collective interest of the people to promote peace, security and stability ahead of the 2024 elections.

Ghanaians, he reiterated, needed to recognise the importance of peace and stability throughout the political process, as the country could not afford to erase the gains made in upholding the rule of law under the Fourth Republican Constitution.

“Ghana is the only country we have, and we must do everything in our power to defend our nation and its constitution,” he advised.

Ghana’s reputation is at stake in the December elections, as it has staged eight successful polls since 1992.

The upcoming elections remain a test case for the West African nation, especially given the sub-Region’s eroding democratic values and increasing incidences of military adventurism.

In view of this, President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance that the government was committed to fostering an incident-free election to sustain a peaceful political environment.

“We should always resort to protocols to establish our displeasure and grievance without disruption to peace and national security.

“We are one people with a common identity,” he stated.

Workers welfare

The Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr Yaw Baah, advocated an improvement in the working conditions of Ghanaian workers.

Workers, he stressed, should be enumerated adequately to enhance productivity for sustainable economic growth and development.

He called on President Akufo-Addo to urgently tackle the current power challenges, and stop the recurrence of the protracted power outages commonly known as “dumsor,” in the country.

Dr. Baah emphasised the critical need for action to address the power challenges.

He stressed that Ghanaians cannot afford to endure the effects of the power challenges any longer, as it is severely impacting businesses and could lead to widespread unemployment if not resolved promptly.

He urged President Akufo-Addo and the government to take immediate steps to mitigate the effects of the situation.

“Mr President, my second appeal is about dumsor. Mr President, it is regrettable that the people of Ghana have to experience dumsor again after all that we went through in the past, we have to go through it again. Please do something about it now,” Dr. Baah urged.

‘No Dumsor’

Meanwhile, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for election 2024, had assured that the ongoing power crisis will soon be resolved.

In his remarks, Dr Bawumia reaffirmed the government’s commitment to addressing the outages once and for all.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting with NPP regional leaders ahead of the start of his nationwide tour in the Eastern Region on Monday, April 29, Dr Bawumia assured Ghanaians that the Energy Ministry is actively managing the challenges in the power sector.

“I know that there are challenges, we are going to work on them. Currently, we have issues with power, the assurance from the Minister for Energy is that those power challenges will very soon be a thing of the past, they are working at it,” he said.