Business News of 2014-07-14

Railway workers to strike on July 21

The Railway Workers Union will from Monday, July 21, withdraw its services until the staff salary review process are finalized. The withdrawal would affect the two passenger trains from Accra to Nsawam and Accra to Tema.
The Union said a letter dated May 22, from the Office of the President signed by the Chief of Staff indicated that President John Dramani Mahama had directed the Transport Ministry to ensure the implementation of the worker’s salary review by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC).
However, the Union said since the President’s directive, there had been no response and that the workers could not cope with the current economic challenges and called for immediate action to address the low level of salaries.
At a news conference in Accra, Godwill Ntarmah, General Secretary of the Union said on October 31, 2012, the Union met with President Mahama and raised concerns about low level of salaries and the revamping of the Railway sector.
Mr Ntarmah said as at 2012, the Managing Director of the company was receiving GH¢ 986 while labourers received GH¢ 163.00 basic salaries. He recalled that through negotiations with government, in November 2012, 25 per cent salary increase was achieved while the FWSC was tasked to review the salary structure in addition to a promise to embark on work on the Western Rail Line but nothing had been done to date.
“It is the expectation of the Railway workers that the revamping of the sector would address the decline of the Railway sector and hauling of minerals which would result in the company being self-sufficient,” he said.
He said unfortunately, those promises were not fulfilled and the company continue to decline day by day, emphasizing that buildings of the company are being auctioned by Social Security and National Insurance Trust.
Mr Ntarmah said workers continued to work under strenuous conditions due to the absence of tools, accessories and the spare parts needed to work effectively. He explained that trackmen had to walk miles to inspect the lines and identify faulty areas because there are no rail cars to undertake those assignments.
Source: GNA
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