General Secretary of the Ghana Federation of Labour, Abraham Koomson has hinted that more workers in the textiles industry are expected to be laid-off as a result of the non-performance of the sector.
“Anything can happen to even the 1,500 workers at any point in time. The industry is not performing so they may have to also go home,” he said.
Mr. Koomson who was speaking to the Business Day Ghana in an interview noted that workers are being laid-off because of the pace of smuggling of cheap and fake prints from China which is collapsing the local industry.
“Many of these smugglers don’t pay appropriate duties and taxes to the government. Whereas the manufacturers are paying VAT, health insurance and social security contribution of workers and corporate taxes, the smugglers don’t pay anything,” he observed.
Currently, the industry employs about 1,500 workers unlike in the 1970s, when the workforce was over 25,000. Employment figures reduced from a high of 25,000 in 1975 to 5,000 in the year 2000, before sliding further down to 3,000 in 2003 and 1,500 at close of 2016.
Similarly, the more than 130 million metres of fabric the industry produced annually has also been reduced drastically to less than 30 million. The production level was 130 million metres in 1975, 46 million metres in 1995, 65 million metres in 2000 and 39 million metres in 2003. Today, the production is below the 30 million metres mark.