The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) has directed its regional officers to prioritize occupational health and safety issues in their labour negotiations with employers.
The Union also wants amendments to the Workmen’s Compensation Law to reflect present workplace needs.
“It has outlived its usefulness or relevance; if you’re involved in workplace accident and you go through the process of making claims for your compensation, you end up taking a peanut”, said Morgan Ayawine, ICU Deputy General-Secretary.
The call comes on the heels of the Melcom building disaster in Accra which claimed the lives of workers and injured many others.
The National Labour Law mandates employers to insure their workers against injuries and occupational hazards but the Workmen’s Compensation Law or Employer’s Liability Policy is not being adhered to.
The Law holds employers liable, subject to the provisions thereof, for personal injury sustained by a workman by accident arising out of and in the course of his or her employment.
According to Mr. Ayawine, regional and field officers of ICU have been charged to engage management in negotiations to put in the necessary insurance covers as part of their employment benefits.
He spoke to Luv FM at the ICU Ashanti regional conferences on youth and women in Kumasi, ahead of the impending 9th ICU Quadrennial Delegates Conference.
The Union is empowering the groups to take active roles in labour activism.
“Youth is trade unionism are being groomed to take up leadership roles at the top echelon of the Union in future”, said the ICU Deputy General-Secretary, adding that “as women trade unionists, you must equip yourselves with skills in trade unionism especially in negotiations, so that you can well be represented at negotiations on matters including women issues.”
Ashanti Regional Women President of ICU, Rosemary Oduro Yeboah also emphasized the important role of women in trade unionism. She noted that the ICU is exposing women in the informal sector to skills acquisition and training to be assertive and self-reliant.