The Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) and other labour groups announced last week that their members will embark on a nationwide demonstration on Thursday, July 24 against economic challenges workers and Ghanaians as a whole are facing currently.
The TUC has said the demonstration is inspired by the current hikes in petroleum prices, the fall in value of the local currency, the Ghana cedi against major trading currencies and high cost of living.
Philomena Nyarko speaking in an interview with Joy Business said the country should expect to see some decline in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if people go on strike and do not work.
She said “When we don’t produce goods and services it affects the Gross National Product or the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and so even one day loss, even one hour’s loss introduction can significantly reflect on the GDP depending on the proportion of contribution of that sector or sub sector to the economy so we expect to see some decline in the GDP if people go on strike and do not work.”
She noted that the actual impact of Thursday’s demonstration can be quantified when they collate the needed information after the action. There are mixed views about how Thursday's demonstration by Organized Labour could affect business activities and the economy.
The Ghana Employers' Association has emphasized adequate arrangements have been made to ensure business does not grind to a halt as a result of Thursday’s demonstration.
This has given some assurance to the public that business activities would not be affected by the demonstration. Economist Robert Osei speaking in an interview with Joy Business insists the impact would be huge.
According to him, “For the business person at the end of the day you are actually going to be making payments for effectively work not done. You can also think of business that waits for the government offices, now clearly if they are actually not present at their work places what it means is that you will also have to delay efficiency”
“Now for the business person, every hour does count, everyday does count and for the number that we are looking at, they do stuck up so I think it’s not the judgment on whether strikes are good or bad, the point that needs to be made very clearly is that there is always going to be a cost associated with these strikes,” Robert Osei added.
The financial sector could be one of the sectors that would be affected badly by Thursday’s action as Industrial and Commercial Workers Union, and the Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance Workers have both directed their members to participate in the demonstrate.
But HR Consultant, Nana Otafregya speaking in an interview with Joy Business said most banks have measures in place to provide service to the public. He explained that, “Ecobank for example is not unionized so you can bet that all workers of Ecobank will go to work and meanwhile they are competing with the likes of Barclays Bank and Standard Chartered who are unionized.”
“So Standard Chartered, Barclays Bank and others should put in measures to at least provide limited service to their customers,” Nana Otafregya advised. Financial Consultant Sydney Casely-Hayford also says the protest might offer an opportunity to some people to make good money.