The Ghana Federation of Labour has reiterated its call on government to ensure that the local textile industry is protected from counterfeit and pirated products.
This follows an exercise by the Ghana Standards Authority that clamped down on dealers of pirated textiles in parts of Accra last week.
The Deputy Secretary General of the Ghana Federation of Labour, Kenneth Koomson, says the move by the GSA is a step in the right direction which must be supported to ensure the protection of the local textile industry.
“We believe that the exercise is in the interest of the state, and again to ensure that the brisk sale of fabrics whose origin is unknown and quality we cannot vouch for, are dealt with as far as the policies of the GSA are concerned.”
Mr. Koomson also added that government must be committed to walk the talk by resourcing the necessary agencies to adhere to the single corridor policy which it announced as the only approved route for the import and export of textile products.
“Unlike Nigeria closing its borders, we would like the security services in Ghana to be well resourced to ensure that the dedicated corridor for the import and export of textiles are complied with.”
He finally added that due to the high influx of fake garments into the country, the local industry may collapse if urgent steps are not taken.
According to him, these imported fabrics also pose health risks to consumers.
Textile industry workers commend GSA over crackdown on fake textiles
The Textile, Garment and Leather Employees’ Union (TGLEU) has also commended the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) over its decision to clamp down on people selling substandard African wax prints.
The Union in a statement said these substandard products which have flooded the markets, pose serious health risks as the quality of chemical used in manufacturing the prints are unknown.
“TGLEU pledges absolute support for the GSA in the application of its core mandate to ensure that the manufacture and sale of products comply with the laws of this country. We appeal to the GSA to sustain the operations at the points of sale of these counterfeit textiles across the regions to save the country from imminent calamity,” the union said.
The action taken by the GSA should provide a glimmer of hope to textile manufacturers who have lamented the influx of cheap wax prints has led to the near-collapse of the country’s once-vibrant textile industry.
The statement issued by the Union stated that apart from the health risks, the economy of this country suffers immensely through substantial Revenue losses due to the smuggling of these products into the country.
“Consequently, the local textile manufacturing industry which meets statutory tax obligations, applies certified dyestuffs and chemical and employs thousands of workers have been rendered uncompetitive in pricing because of the illicit activities of traders thereby causing the virtual collapse of the industry resulting in massive job losses,” the Union said.
The GSA said the exercise is to rid the markets of substandard goods.
Business Development Manager at the GSA, George Kojo Anti, told Citi Business News the fabrics are hazardous to the skin and as such must not be allowed unto the markets.
“The exercise was to go to the markets, sample products and the suspicious fabrics that are actually dominant in the shops. In the interest of public health and safety, in the interest of consumer protection, then we would temporarily have to suspend the sale of such because they are articles that we suspect hold a danger for life. There is no reason why we should allow at a point where we have seen it with our own eyes to be continued to be sold in public. One human life lost can never be regained” he explained.