The General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), Mr Solomon Kotei, has urged workers to renew their commitment to support the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“As we are all aware, we are not in normal times, so as we report back to work we must preserve our lives and the lives of others by adhering to social distancing and the protocols of frequently washing our hands under running water, applying alcohol-based sanitisers on our hands, wearing face masks as well as hand gloves,” he said.
May Day, otherwise called Workers Day, is celebrated annually across the world in recognition of the pivotal role workers play in the development of the world and growth of local economies.
Ghanaian workers observed the first May Day in 1960 and have since then marked the day with parades amid funfair.
Unfortunately, because of the protocols of social distancing meant to stem the spread of COVID-19, workers cannot gather to celebrate the 2020 May Day with the hustle and bustle that comes with it.
Mr Kotei said although the global onslaught of COVID-19 had dealt a devastating blow to the hopes and aspirations of workers and employers alike, it was important for workers to gird their loins and work towards sustainable solutions.
“Its unwelcome impact, as all of us are aware, has been the lockdown of two major regions of Ghana – Greater Accra Metropolis and Greater Kumasi Metropolis as well as Kasoa, with biting repercussions for business and industry,” he said.
He noted that although COVID-19 had compelled the country to observe the day without the usual funfair, it was important for workers to remain positive that there was light at the end of the tunnel.
“Let all of us celebrate the 2020 May Day in the quietness of our homes and have a sober reflection of our work and how best we can contribute to the growth and development of the organisations we work for and, by extension, the economy of Ghana for our own good and the good of Mother Ghana,” he said.
Mr Kotei emphasised the need for workers to collaborate with employers to tackle the negative impact COVID-19 had visited on businesses.
That, he said, was the best approach to revive the economy for the mutual benefit of all parties and the country at large.
He observed that the negative effect of the pandemic on the economy would take long to repair and that required collaboration between workers and employers.
Mr Kotei added that organised labour had decided that union members who distinguished themselves in the service of their unions and as such deserved recognition, would be rewarded in due course.