Business and Economics

“Let’s unite against discrimination”, Trade Unions urged

Accra, Aug. 21, GNA – Trade Unions across the globe have been called to unite and fight against all sorts of discriminations meted out to coloured people working in various corporations around the world.
Mr Terry Melvin, the President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), who made the call, said there is the need for all trade unions in Africa, Caribbean, Europe and America to unite and fight for the rights of coloured people.
He was speaking at the maiden edition of the International Labour Summit held as part of the commemoration of the Year of Return organised by the CBTU, the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), the Solidarity Centre, and the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
Mr Melvin said despite the abolishment of slave trade and all its forms, there are still some forms of discrimination against people of colour in many parts of the world, particularly in America and Europe.
This, he said, could be solved when all trade unions of black origin unite with a single purpose of protecting the rights and privileges of black people around the world against discrimination and abuses meted out to them.
“We can best fight the discrimination and abuses of people of black origin in solidarity and with a singleness in the pursuit of our interest,” he said.
Mr Joshua Ansah, the Deputy Secretary General of TUC, said history tells us that slavery was an unacceptable form of work, often very hard, sustained by force and threats of humiliation.
He said, although, slave trade seemed to have been stopped, Africa still has the highest rate of modern day enslavement in the world adding that the 2018 Global Slavery Index states that 9.2 million Africans lived in slavery under various conditions including armed conflicts, forced labour and forced marriages.
He said there were currently employers who treated employees as slaves and prevented them from joining trade unions.
Mr Ansah said: “In many workplaces today, there are open discrimination in employment, long working hours, poor health and safety standards, and total absence of worker’ participation in decision-making processes.”
He urged all trade unions participating in the summit to use the opportunity to reflect and share information and experiences that would help in achieving the common goal of ensuring that every worker worked under safe and better conditions.
Mr Derrick Johnson, the President of NAACP, said it is important for workers and trade unions to have a common voice and platform to be successful.
He said a united trades union would be successful in championing policy reforms and structures that would work in the best interest of members.
“The goal of trade unions all over the world are similar and it is important that we come to together with a common goal and strategy to facilitate a safe and secured environment for all,” he said, adding that it is the responsibility of trade unions to strengthen relations within the African continent.
Mr Johnson said after four hundred years of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, it has become significant for trade unions to unite within the continent towards working for a stronger African diaspora.
He said it has become incumbent on the NAACP as the world’s largest and oldest civil right organisation to reach out across the globe to the African diaspora towards embarking on a dialogue of cultural and labour exchange.
He said it has also become significant for workers of the world to unite, particularly African workers, adding that many large corporations make undue considerations on the cost of labour in their operations and this is undermining the worth of employees.
Mr Johnson said it is a collective responsibility of trade unions to ensure that African labour is not exploited and pinned against one another.

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