#Article (Archive)

The plight of workers

Aug 21, 2012, 9:59 AM

One of the issues that we have over the years stated in these pages is the plight of workers in this country despite the economic downturn, as many would say.

In our arguments, we emphasized the fact that most workers deserve a better deal than what they currently have, so as to meet the rising cost of living in the country, especially now as we speak.

Though we cannot say by what percent salaries should be increased, there is a need for employers to give a lot of thought to the matter of salary increase, since workers’ pay packages no longer match the rising prices of basic commodities.

Workers who live on a fixed income are usually worst off when prices go up, especially so when they have no other source of income.

Since their income falls far short of their expenditure, they tend to live by their wits, or lose interest in their work and, as a result, efficiency suffers.

Workers should be made to be able to pay their rent, feed their families, take care of, if not all, at least half of the needs of the family, so as to maintain effective and efficient performance in their various places of work, as better services will yield better results.

Nowadays, many people find their monthly spending rising on a daily basis.

Just go round to find out the prices of the necessities of life, and you would discover that many families are already struggling under the unfortunate pressure of rising food prices and cost of other essential products.

Water, electricity, transport fares, among others, are all the time threatening to tip the household budget into the red.

What most workers take home nowadays is not just enough to make ends meet.

Just imagine a family man that earns two thousand dalasis a month. If he has to spend say seven hundred on rent, three hundred on utilities, then he is left with just about one thousand.

Out of this, he has to take care of feeding and other miscellaneous expenses. At the end of the day, the monthly salary does not last even eight days.

What happens next is for him or her to depend on the goodwill of the grocer to tide over the rest of the month.

This is, no doubt, a miserable way to live.

Interestingly, when things continue like this, ordinary people who are known for honesty are tempted to do unimaginable things just to get by, thus causing corruption in society.

However, in return for huge salaries, workers must also be fair to their employers by delivering up to expectations.

People should learn to eat what they sweat for and not somebody’s sweat, as seen in many places of work where few people will work while others rest, and at the end of the day earn more than those working.

This must stop in order for us to move forward.

“One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.”