Tripartite Committee in crucial meeting

The Tripartite Committee is scheduled to meet today to finally determine the national minimum wage.

Although official sources would not disclose the proposals on the table, sources close to the Committee indicated that the government has opposed a 30 per cent upward adjustment, but the TUC is demanding nothing less than an equivalent of one dollar as the daily minimum wage.

The existing minimum wage is ¢5,500 and a 30 per cent upward adjustment by the government means that the Ghanaian worker would earn about ¢7,350 as minimum wage, which works up to ¢350 less than the prevailing cedi equivalent to the dollar.

In the face of the growing agitation among certain sections of organised labour, today’s meeting is considered by stakeholders as very crucial for the government to announce the minimum wage as early as possible.

There is also the expectation of workers that the new minimum wage be announced on May 1, which is the international day for workers worldwide.

An emergency caucus session was held yesterday before the crucial meeting of all stakeholders being held today on the issue. The TUC’s position is clear; it is not prepared to take anything less than the cedi equivalent of a dollar.

There is already tremendous amount of goodwill among representatives of government, workers and employers who constitute the committee and there are high hopes that the parties will reach an agreement at today’s meeting.

The Tripartite Committee met five times since December but could not agree on what the minimum wage should be.

Finance Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo is on record to have indicated that the minimum wage will be determined and incorporated in future government budget, and explained that this practice was not possible with the 2002 budget statement because negotiations to determine the wage level broke down.

On the restoration of the End-of-Service-Benefits, the Committee is expected to May 21 and 22 to discuss it.