World Day for Decent Work: ITUC-Africa calls for decisive action to address wage gap


By Michael Oche

The African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation, ITUC-Africa has, in commemoration of the 2023 World Day for Decent Work (WDDW), called on governments to prioritise social protection measures that shield vulnerable workers from the negative impacts of inflation and economic instability.

Our Correspondent reports that this year, the global trade union movement commemorates the World Day for Decent Work (WDDW) under the theme: “It’s Time for a Pay Rise”.

This year’s theme comes amidst immense strain borne by workers and their households due to soaring prices of food and fuel, driven partly by the effects of the war in Ukraine and what has been blamed on corporate profiteering and greed.

In a statement issued from the Lomé headquarters of the TUC-Africa, General Secretary, Kwasi Adu-Amankwah said inflation has weakened African workers’ consuming power and thrown many into hunger, misery, and despondency.

“The army of the working poor is growing and posing fundamental challenges to national cohesion, stability and progress,” Adu-Amankwah said in the statement issued Friday.

ITUC-Africa therefore called on African governments, employers, and other stakeholders across the continent to take decisive action to address the wage gap and ensure that all workers receive a just and decent wage.

“We know that the path to decent work includes genuine respect for workplace rights and an unshackled space for utilizing collective bargaining spaces and processes,” the general secretary stated.

In recent times, African workers have complained that consuming power has been further weakened by rising inflation, which has thrown many into hunger, misery, and despondency.

ITUC-Africa said in response to the “growing army of the working poor” there is an urgent need to ensure access to quality healthcare, education, and affordable housing for every worker and their families.

The general secretary said, “Across the African continent, we have witnessed the resilience and determination of workers who, despite facing unprecedented challenges, continue to contribute their skills, talents, and hard work to fuel economic growth and development. These workers are critical for our economies, and their concerns should be at the heart of economic and social policies.”

ITUC-Africa said this year’s WDDW celebration is a further reminder of the urgent need to address the socio-economic hardships faced by African working men and women.