Thursday, April 30, 2015

From left: Casely-Hayford, Franklin Cudjoe and George Andah
OccupyGhana has called on all Ghanaians, especially workers to wear red attire on May 1 in protest against the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government for subjecting workers to harsh living and economic conditions.

Sydney Casely-Hayford, a leading member of OccupyGhana, who was speaking at a press conference, hinted that “we are asking that the significance of May Day on this particular May Day should be shifted, let it become a voice of protest and a voice of complaint to the government.

“Let them understand clearly that as much us we are not going to walk the street attempting to destroy anything and create mayhem, we are at least going to register our protest by making sure that we symbolise the day with something red.

“A red shoe, a scarf, a red pair of earrings, pair of socks, anything that we can think of that would enhance that day.”

Speaking on the theme: ‘Red Friday on May Day’, he said government’s refusal to reduce fuel prices at a time when world oil prices had been drastically reduced by more that 50 percent was also a major contributing factor for the high cost of living being forced on the Ghanaian worker.

Mr Casely-Hayford urged all Ghanaians who believe that government must fix the current energy crisis put in more efforts in fighting corruption and ultimately those who believe that workers deserve better to “wear their voices in demand for better governance.”

“As Leonardo da Vinci puts it, nothing strengthens authority so much as silence. So we should never be afraid to wear our voice in demand for better governance that will eventually create better environment and living conditions for all. If workers all over the Ghana will do this, we will affect lives positively. So on May Day, let your voice be seen in red,” he stated.

Power Crisis

The leading member of OccupyGhana disclosed that industries were shutting down while production levels were being reduced due to government failure to effectively deal with the currently energy crisis resulting in massive layoff of workers at all level.

“By conservative estimates, over 12,600 formal workers have lost their jobs this year due to the extremely difficult business and economic conditions under which they are operating. This excludes the many undocumented job losses at the micro-enterprise levels; dressmakers, welders, bakers, corn-mill operators and all manner of small businesses that rely on power for their operations,” he said.

Depreciation of Cedis

Mr Casely-Hayford added that workers were being faced by the rapid decline of real wages due to the depreciation of the cedi, increasing inflation and declining rates of wage increase.

“.…Clearly therefore, the real wage of the majority of Ghanaian workers especially those who earn just or above the minimum wage is under intense pressure, making it almost impossible to put food on the family table and to keep body and soul together.”

He hinted that OccupyGhana was working on a major event on July 1 as they prepare to mark their anniversary.

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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