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Employment agencies exploiting contract workers – ICU alarms

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General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) Solomon Kotei, has bemoaned the poor work conditions of Ghanaians especially in the private sector.

He also lamented over the activities of recruitment agencies and outsourcing companies who are using their operations to cheat workers.

According to him, the activities of these agencies usually plunge job seekers into trouble as most of them get poor salaries, no SSNIT or medical benefits and job insecurity.

Speaking to Accra based radio, he said because of unemployment, workers who are undergoing poor conditions have remained mute and the ICU has demanded for change through petitions and proposals.

The law in Ghana he explained mandates the agencies to search for workers for a prospective company, take their commission from the companies but ‘’what we see today is that these agencies rather receives the salaries of the workers and give them what they want.’’ He has therefore challenged the Labour Commission to conduct serious audit so the agencies violating the laws can be punished.

On 1st October 2011 UK’s Government introduced the Agency Workers Regulations which gives agency workers the right to equal treatment (with permanent staff working at the same organisation). But Ghanaian employers totally treat agency staff different from permanent staff, he opined.

He said: ‘’several contract workers in Ghana are paid in the margin of 500-800 GHS a month, doing the same job with permanent staff receiving about 3 times this amount.’’

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