Business News Thu, 28 Sep 2017

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Give concrete assurances or protests will continue – PUWU to government

The Public Utilities Workers Union (PUWU) is demanding from the government proof that Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) workers will be retained by the concessionaires who will take over ECG in September 2018.

The latest demand follows a sit-down strike by ECG staff, who are requesting a severance package for workers who could be laid off after the company is privatized.

The Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko responded to this by extending an invitation to the protesting workers who wanted their severance packages but warned them that they will lose their jobs if their demands are met.

The Minister said there was not going to be a collective bargaining situation where all 6,500 ECG workers were paid the severance and then transferred to the new company.

The government has consistently tried to allay the fears of workers following the Power Compact signed with the United States of America, acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

But speaking to on Eyewitness News, the Deputy General Secretary of PUWU, Richard Nyaaba said PUWU will continue its agitation for what is due to ECG workers as the government so far has not shown any tangible commitment towards the retention of workers after the privatization.

“…Where is the proof? Up till now, we have not seen any document anywhere. So should we just be sitting there because a politician says our job secured and for that matter, we should not be worried but tomorrow, we are asked to go away.”

He stressed that the workers are engaged legally by the electricity of Ghana which “will no longer exist therefor our legal relationship with the Electricity Company of Ghana ceases come September 2018.”

“Appart from the 20 or so percent that will be left at the head office to stay with the mother ECG, that will monitor and supervise the concessioner, everybody will have to go off,” Mr. Nyaaba added.

The Ghana Power Compact would provide Ghana with a grant of US$498,200,000 to improve the performance of the power sector.

About US$350 million of the grant is being invested in ECG to make the country’s power distributor operationally and financially more efficient.

Source: citifmonline.com

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