Local Textile workers will on Thursday (March 9, 2017) embark on a protest to express their displeasure over what they say is the Trade Ministry’s inability to stop the smuggling of pirated goods onto the local markets.
According to the workers, the development has rendered local textile companies uncompetitive while they have also been compelled to lay off thousands of workers.
The protest will comprise workers of GTP, ATL, and Printex.
Ebenezer Asumadu, Chairman of the Concerned Workers of the Textile Industry who spoke to Citi Business News about the development said they expect the Trade Ministry to address the issue immediately.
“This is not the first time we are embarking on such a protest. We have written to the sector minister, we wanted to meet him so that we iron the issue out. There was a task force put in place by the previous administration that had been checking the influx of these pirated designs on the market. For some time now, the task force has not been working. Their reason being that there has been a change of government so the people are taking advantage of that and importing pirated designs into the market which is killing our industry,” he lamented.
Government in August 2010 introduced a task force to rid the markets off pirated goods.
Since then, over 10,000 pirated Ghanaian textiles have been seized and destroyed.
Meanwhile the Deputy Communications Manager at the Trades Ministry, Nasir Ahmed Yartey says the Ministry is developing new ideas to eliminate the pirated goods on the local market.
“The issue of the piracy is what we are fighting through the task force and members of the textiles industry form the bulk of the membership of this task force. They know the industry, they know what people are doing to harm the industry so it is their expertise that the ministry relies on to try to fight this menace and so we are working with them.”
“We have a very cordial relationship with them and we are hopeful that with the coming in of our new minister (Alan Kyerematen), practicable or new strategies will be brought on board,” he asserted.