Former President John Dramani Mahama, the standard-bearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), on Tuesday took his #BuildingGhanaTour campaign to the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Accra. The former President, who was accompanied by Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the National Chairman of the NDC; Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, the NDC Minority Leader in Parliament and Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, the NDC Running Mate in the 2020 general election was received by Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, Secretary-General, TUC. Former President Mahama said as social democrats, the NDC believed in social justice and equity and shared a common objective with organised labour represented by the TUC. ‘We both prioritise the welfare and wellbeing of the working class and ordinary people. This shared goal requires us to cooperate and collaborate to ensure the total achievement of our objectives,’ he stated. He reiterated that the NDC and the TUC were allies. The former President said the history of global development showed that trade unions had been instrumental in shaping economies to promote universal human well-being. He said the progress made in the Western world and other advanced economies was a testament to the tenacity of and resilience of workers unions. He noted that the interaction between the NDC and the TUC was a mark of even deeper relations to safeguard their common interest and ensure a better future for the working people of the country. He said just as no economy could survive without prioritising the well-being of workers, the NDC as social democrats recognised the need to design policies that accommodate the growth of industry and business and at the same time protect the interest of workers and their unions. ‘The NDC, which I lead, recognises that it does not have the monopoly of ideas and that it takes the cross-fertilisation of ideas to achieve and sustain the economic progress of our country,’ he said. He said the Party acknowledged the pool of ideas and expertise at the disposal of the TUC and recognised that the TUC had clear perspectives of the challenges confronting the country in this era as evidenced in their workers’ manifesto. He said as allies whose anchor ideology in social democracy, the NDC had no hesitation in inviting the TUC to actively participate in their strategy formulation processes; so that the concerns of the workers and the vulnerable could be adequately reflected in policy whenever they took over the reins of Government. Former President Mahama said no political party in Ghana was better aligned to pursue policies favourable to the working class than the NDC. ‘We firmly and ably ascribe to the tenets of social democracy, believing that the state and the market can work together to ensure economic expansion and equitably sharing of the fruits of economic growth,’ he said. ‘We understand that our collective wellbeing as citizens resides in sustained economic growth through high productivity in sectors where we have a comparative advantage.’ He said the NDC welcomed any opportunity to engage organised labour in the pursuit of these objectives continuously. He said Ghana had been hit very hard by very harsh economic conditions over the last couple of years; declaring that under the current administration, Ghana had witnessed severe adverse effects due to what they in the NDC and many Ghanaians consider a self-inflicted economic crisis. He cited the high inflation rates, high cost of living, destruction of jobs, debt crisis, and negative impact from investors were some of the effects of the current administration’s failed policies. Former President Mahama said the economic crisis had significantly impacted workers and citizens generally. He said unemployment rates, particularly among young people, had risen to the highest in recent memory, making it difficult for many to find stable and decent-paying jobs. He said inflation and exchange rate volatility had eroded workers’ purchasing power and had pushed many below the poverty line. Former President Mahama said the healthcare and education sectors had also been negatively affected by inadequate funding and deteriorating quality of services. Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, Secretary-General, TUC, presented a copy of the TUC’s Workers’ Manifesto to the former President for input in the drafting of the NDC’s 2024 Manifesto.
Source: Ghana News Agency