- The Trades Union Congress has admonished President Nana Akufo-Addo to stop the National Cathedral project and convert it into a "national hospital" project
- TUC General Secretary Dr Yaw Baah made the comments on May 1, 2023, during a speech to mark this year's May Day celebrations held in Bolgatanga
- Dr Baah also boldly told the president to cut down the size of his ministers and other appointees to reduce government spending
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The Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) has urged President Nana Akufo-Addo to take some critical steps to mitigate the current economic crisis, including shelving the National Cathedral project.
TUC General Secretary Dr Anthony Yaw Baah told Nana Akufo-Addo to immediately reduce government spending in a no-holds-barred message to mark this year's May Day celebrations.
“The president has always said he wants to create another Notre Dame in Ghana so we can attract a lot of visitors but we disagree. In fact...it will be better to convert the project into a national hospital,” he said during a speech before the May Day parade held in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Region captial.
May Day celebrations held in Bolgatanga for the first time
May Day, known also as International Workers' Day, commemorates the past struggles and gains made by workers and the labour movement.
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It is observed in many countries on May 1 every year.
In Ghana, the day was celebrated on the theme: "Protecting incomes and pensions in an era of economic crisis: Our responsibility.”
Cut down government size, spending
Dr Baah also repeated an oft-repeated admonishment to the president about the size of his government during his speech at the May Day parade grounds.
“Mr president you can also reduce the size of your government. Ghana has too many ministers and deputy ministers," he said.
He said workers in Ghana were confident that the president could change the difficult economic situation Ghanaians found themselves in.
"The government can do so by cutting expenditure on non-essentials including the need to stop spending our hard-earned revenue on a national cathedral," he said.
Don't touch our pensions: Workers warn government
Meanwhile, ahead of the parade, the largest workers union in Ghana, the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), warned the government against including pensions in the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme.
In a statement to mark this year's May Day celebration, the union said including pensions to the DDEP amounts to a violation of workers' pensions.
The finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta has been urging the Board of Trustees of pensions funds to allow the funds to be included in a revised DDEP.
Individual bondholders have also been agitating against their inclusion in the DDEP over what they say are untenable proposals in the minister's offer.
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