Regional News of 2014-07-21

Railway workers call off strike

Members of the Railway Workers Union of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) have called off an indefinite strike that began Monday July 21, 2014.
The workers last week served notice they will withdraw services and stage protests on Monday to demand better conditions of service.
According to them, their service conditions are so dire that some senior managers after decades of service with the Ghana Railways Company still receive meager salaries.
However, after a meeting with President John Mahama on Monday, the workers have resolved to immediately call-off the strike.
Mr Alex Boateng, Chairman of the Railway Workers Union, revealed that the President has directed the Finance Ministry to pay huge sums of money to the railway leadership.
The money according to Mr Boateng would be used to carry out “some works on our rail lines to enable us haul the manganese and bauxite along the Western lines."
“Also the management of the Ghana Railways Company has been directed immediately to sit down with the Railway Workers Union to address the situation," he added.
According to him, the President gave them (workers) a week to negotiate with the Ghana Railways Company management and give him feedback.
In a related development, labour economist at the University of Ghana says government must be more proactive in addressing the concerns of workers through the National Tripartite Committee.
According to Dr. William Baah-Boateng, government’s continuous meeting of individual labour organizations over their concerns is wrong.
He said many of the labour unrest could be resolved easily if the National Tripartite committee is allowed to dialogue with the labour unions.
Dr. Baah-Boateng pointed out that if the government continues to apply “fire fighting approach” by meeting the various labour unions individually, matters will not be resolved, and strikes will continue.
Dr Baah-Boateng was speaking on Accra-based Citi FM.