Organised labour has declared an indefinite strike effective 27 December to force the government to exempt pension funds from the planned debt exchange programme.
The Secretary General of TUC, Dr Yaw Baah, announced the industrial action at a press conference in Accra.
Labour unions present at the press conference included the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the Ghana Medical Association, the University Teachers’ Association of Ghana (UTAG), the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives’ Association of Ghana and the Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU).
“We have decided firmly that because the government has refused to grant us our request that all pension funds must be exempted from the domestic debt exchange programme, all workers of Ghana are going to strike on 27 December 2022. We will be on strike until our demand has been granted,” Baah said.
“What it means is that all workers of Ghana should stay at home starting from 27 December. We will stay at home until the government acts. That is straight forward and very simple. We won’t sit down for the vulnerable people to suffer because somebody has made mistakes. We are going to be in our red dresses until we hear from the government,” he added.
Extension of debt exchange programme
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance has extended the deadline for the domestic debt exchange programme from 19 to 30 December, an official statement has said.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Finance on Friday (16 December), said the extension will afford the government the opportunity to consider suggestions made by all stakeholders with the aim of adjusting certain measures acceptable within the constraints of the Debt Sustainability Analysis.
“Considering these developments, and taking cognisance of the festive season, we have decided to extend the expiration date of the voluntary offer to Friday 30 December 2022, with a contemplated settlement date on Friday 6 January 2023,” the statement said.
“This extension comes on the heels of the announcement of a Staff-Level Agreement (SLA) with the IMF on 13 December 2022,” the statement added.
Below is the full statement:
EXTENSION OF THE EXPIRATION DATE FOR THE DOMESTIC DEBT EXCHANGE PROGRAM (DDEP) TO 30 DECEMBER 2022
On 6 December 2022 our domestic debt operation (which we formally refer to as the Invitation to Exchange) was launched. Over the last ten days, we continued the consultation efforts that we initiated with all stakeholders ahead of the launching of the offer, including regulators, bankers, pension funds, asset managers, insurance companies et cetera.
- Complementing the efforts on the structure of the offer, we are working with the Bank of Ghana and other regulators (SEC, NPRA, and NIC) in the financial sector and our Advisors and including input from various institutions and the Unions.
- We also fully considered feedback from the financial sector in relation to the need to secure internal and Executive Board approvals which are necessary considerations for their participation in the Exchange. This in some instances may require emergency board meetings etc. The extension also affords Government of Ghana the opportunity to consider suggestions made by all stakeholders with the aim of adjusting certain measures acceptable within the constraints of the Debt Sustainability Analysis.
- Considering these developments, and taking cognisance of the festive season, we have decided to extend the Expiration Date of the voluntary offer to Friday 30 December 2022, with a contemplated settlement date on Friday 6 January 2023.
- This extension comes on the heels of the announcement of a Staff-Level Agreement (SLA) with the IMF on 13 December 2022.
- We believe this extension will provide enough time for the necessary consultations and analysis to be completed to meet the expectations of local and foreign institutional bondholders while preserving the integrity of the Debt Sustainability Analysis and the Staff-Level Agreement.
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