The Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU) on Friday appealed to government to withdraw the “over time tax” they claim has been a burden on the finances of workers in the country.
According to the General Secretary of ICU, Solomon Kotei, it was time the “over time tax” which workers consider as a nuisance tax, was waived to lessen the burden on workers.Mr Kotei made the call at the official opening of the 10th Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Union in Kumasi which was under the theme, “Our Employers’ Vision, our concern.”
“We want the President to consider directing the tax authorities to waive the ‘over time tax’ as it is serving as a greater disincentive for workers to perform over time work to meet the production targets of our employers,” he stressed.
Mr Kotei noted the waiving of other nuisance taxes earlier this year by the government was laudable, but Ghanaian workers would be much grateful if the overtime tax is also waived.
He also appealed to the government to ensure continuous supply of electricity and water to promote industrialisation as promised by the New Patriotic Party during the 2016 election campaign, because industries were affected by power crisis resulting in the laying off of some workers.
Mr Kotei advised union members to collaborate with employers towards increasing productivity. He expressed worry at increasing job losses as a result of automation in some organizations and urged employers to ensure a balance in the use of technology and human resource.
The Minister of Employment and Labor Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, gave the assurance that government would liaise with labour unions to solve problems of workers.
He said “we will continue to respect labour and see you as equal partners in determining the future of this nation”, and pledged to engage cabinet on the issue of “over time tax.”
Mr Baffour Awuah said that the Ministry was working towards the passage of an “Occupational, Health and Safety Bill, which will seek to tax employers who may engage personnel and make them responsible for their health and safety at the work place,” Mr Baffour Awuah revealed.
He, however, appealed to ICU to amicably solve the long standing problem with the Ghana Trades Union Congress as they were all fighting for one course, which is the welfare of the Ghanaian workers.
Source: Ghanaian Times