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ActionAid Ghana trains informal sector workers on ILO conventions

Some actors in the informal sector in Wa have been trained on the ILO Conventions and decent work principles to enable them to appreciate the concept of decent work in their quest to hire employees or seek jobs.

The employers and employees of hotels, restaurants and private schools were exposed to the provisions of the ILO Conventions 190, C189, C183, decent work principles and the domestic worker’s regulation as well as their responsibilities in fulfilling the requirements of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

Representatives from the Wa Municipal Labour Department, Domestic Violence and Victim’s Support Unit (DOVVSU), SSNIT, and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) among others were present to train the participants on the protocols and the formation and management of associations.

Speaking at the opening of the training in Wa, Madam Abiba Nibaradun, the Upper West Regional Programme Manager of ActionAid Ghana, said lack of knowledge on these conventions had served as a conduit for the per
petuation and entrenchment of indecent work practices in some workspaces, particularly in the informal sector.

She added that the training was also aimed at increasing the understanding of the employees in the informal sector of their rights and what constituted abuse or violations of such rights.

Madam Nibaradun said that would also inform them of where they could seek redress if their rights were violated.

She observed that some employers engaged workers verbally without a contract that outlined the terms and conditions and thus dismissed such employees anytime at will, which was against the laws of Ghana.

‘In every employment situation, there must be a contract that serves as the binding agreement between the employer and the employee with the terms and conditions clearly spelt out,’ Madam Nibaradun explained.

On Sexual harassment at workplaces, Madam Nibaradun urged managers of the informal sector to have policies on sexual harassment in pictorial printouts in brochures and other mediums and pasted a
t vantage points in their work premises prohibiting such acts of abuse around the workplaces as part of efforts to prevent such acts.

She added that ActionAid Ghana had developed a sexual harassment Charter that would be shared with employers for guidance and adoption.

She also urged employers to periodically empower the workers to resist any form of harassment at the workplace and to report harassment when it occurred without fear of losing their jobs.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Adongo Apiiya, the Coordinator of the Upper Regional DOVVSU, who made a presentation on the ILO Convention 190, observed that some employees of the informal sector were afraid of reporting issues of harassment and abuses to their employers for fear of losing their jobs.

While encouraging the workers to report such issues they suffered at the workplaces to the police for action, he said the labour law of Ghana prohibited arbitrary dismissal of a person from work.

Mr Apiiya also entreated managers of the hospitality
industry and private schools to strengthen their security measures, including the installation of functional security cameras to help ensure the safety of their workers and property.

Brother Prosper Ganye, the Assistant Manager of the In-service Training Centre, reacting to the ‘the customer is always right’ notion, said it was the responsibility of the managers to protect their staff from abuse and harassment from customers and other employees.

He indicated that female workers, especially, should be made to know that they should always stand for the right thing, by making their ‘Yes be Yes and No be No’ and they would be always supported once they were right.

Some of the employees at the training identified sexual harassment and abuse, working overtime and overdue payment of remuneration as some challenges they faced at the workplace.

The employers made a commitment to initiate steps that would make the workplace harassment-free while employees committed to always engage their employers for a contract of
employment for better conditions of service.

Source: Ghana News Agency