Business News of Thu, 2 Mar 20171
ICU warns of layoffs over power outages
The Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU) has renewed caution of massive job layoffs if the power supply challenges are not resolved anytime soon.
The union contends that employers would be compelled to cut down on labour size due to increased cost of operation but a drop in production levels. “If this should continue, then prices of goods and services will go up which will also affect employers in the long run.
Also, employers will be compelled to reduce their production levels and that will affect the size of labour needed for any job at a particular point in time. As a result, many labour will be asked to go home,” General Secretary of the ICU, Solomon Kotei warned.
Recent disruptions in power supply have led to the energy ministry reviewing its timeline for restoring normalcy from Saturday to Monday (February 27, 2017).
A statement released by the Energy Ministry further indicated of government’s commitment to addressing the technical financial challenges in the energy sector.
“To safeguard the integrity of the national transmission system and to reduce the possibility of grid instability during the period, government sent a delegation to La Cote d’Ivoire which successfully negotiated an increase in power supply despite Ghana’s indebtedness of about US$60 million to our neighbour as at the end of December 2016.”
Some analysts have advocated the need to shore up gas supply to avert a crisis situation. But the General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union, Solomon Kotei tells Citi Business News failure to address situation will be dire for labour.
“Most of the employers have gone ahead to buy generator sets in anticipation of the situation escalating. This is also adding unto the production cost which is not in the interest of the employer.”
Meanwhile, ICU has joined calls for a timetable to guide employers in decision making. The workers believe a holistic approach by all related institutions in solving the issue will bring great relief to consumers.
“The lack of timetable will be an inconvenience to employers…it is a very serious issue and I hope the government engages the VRA and GRIDCo for clarity to be brought on whether the doom days are setting in soon.”