Workers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) have threatened to plunge the whole country into darkness on Friday, August 26, 2016.
The blackout according to the workers, is part of a three-day protest against the intended privatization of the company. They laid down their tools yesterday, 24th August between 8:00 and 11:00 am to begin the three-day nationwide protest
The workers, clad in red apparels and head bands, chanted, danced and displayed placards with various inscriptions, some of which read, “Mr. President, ECG concession will bring untold hardship on Ghanaians.” “Politicians stop dumping substandard meters on ECG,” “Government just be a little sensitive to the same people who voted you into power,” “Private sector participation; where is Aqua Vitans Rand from South Africa?”
Leaders of the Workers’ Union said they were prepared to demonstrate until Friday 26, August 2016 after which they would decide their next line of action if government failed to rescind its decision to privatize ECG.
Customers were left stranded when the workers of the company in Koforidua yesterday embarked on the demonstration.
National Secretary of the Junior Staff Union, Nicolas Appiah, addressing the media, said the decision taken by government would affect Ghanaians negatively in the long-term, adding that the private investor would handle the tariff issue.
Some of the workers expressed hope that the government would address their grievances after their protest.
They indicated that they would lose their jobs after five years if they allowed the government to privatize the company.
Review MCC Compact
Michael Adumatta Nyantakyi, General Secretary of PUWU, who was addressing a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, said the Union had called on the government to review the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact which seeks to cede the ECG to private investors for a period of 25 years.
“We are not asking the Government of Ghana to abrogate the MCC Compact, but we are requesting that GoG and MCC should review the Compact.
“Private Sector Participation (PSP) as a condition precedent and trigger for entry into force should be modified to include pragmatic steps or measures that can bring efficiency and profitability to ECG using the disciplined leadership and governance transformation method,” he said.
Mr. Nyantakyi pointed out that they would not back down on their decision until their demands were met.
He reiterated that the ECG’s privatization policy is not the best option for the country.
By Cephas Larbi, Daniel Bampoe & Fred Duodu