The Ghana Textile Garment and Leather Employees Union (TGLEU) has urged the Ministry of Trade and Industry to reconsider its decision to give seized pirated textiles to charity.
The decision of the Ghanaian Government violates Trade Related Aspects of the Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), according to the association.
Ghana is a founder-member of the WTO and it should ensure that its procedures were fully enforced, said Mr. Abraham Koomson, general secretary of TGLEU, while speaking to mediamen in Tema, about 25 km from capital Accra.
Mr. Koomson said Article 61 of the WTO agreement lays down the measures to be applied in cases of willful trademark counterfeiting, The Chronicle reported.
Ghanaian textile manufacturers create and design textiles at a cost and also comply with International Labour Organization (ILO) rules and domestic labour laws while offering employment.
Mr. Koomson said TGLEU supports the Government’s policies that are aimed at building a strong economy and creating jobs, while opposing measures that subvert industrial growth, even though they are aimed at fulfilling the state’s obligations towards the vulnerable in society.
Earlier this month, Minister for Trade and Industry Haruna Iddrisu said the pirated textile products seized by the Government Task Force would from now on be donated to the needy instead of being burnt.
‘Pirated’ textiles is a major problem affecting the Ghanaian textile industry. The term is used to denote those textile products that are an imitation of traditional Ghanaian textile designs and are available at lower prices. The pirated textile products have ‘Made in Ghana’ written on them, but actually they are fake and come in from places outside Ghana.
To address the problem, among other measures, the Government has announced that all imported African prints would be subjected to 100 percent physical examination with effect from September 13, 2013.