ICU backs protest against ECG privatization

Business News of Friday, 26 August 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

2016-08-26

Ecg ConcessionFile photo

The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union, ICU, has declared its support for workers of state owned power company, ECG who are resisting government moves hand the company to a private investor for 25 years.

The ICU argues that the move will not inure to the benefit of Ghanaians and the industry. The Public Utilities Workers’ Union (PUWU), on Wednesday declared a three-day nationwide demonstration to protest the privatization of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

The exercise which enters its third day today [Friday] will have all offices of ECG across the country, closed for to three hours.

Government has subsequently warned of punitive measures if the workers do not call off the exercise. But commenting on this development, General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union, Solomon Kotei expressed the union’s full support for PUWU. “ICU is in full support of this.

We had been talking about the meltdown of the economy; we have been talking about general issues that affect the ordinary worker so this is one of major part of it so we are fully behind it and we support the action of PUWU. He however called on government to take a second look at deal.

“Sale of the ECG has come up time without number and I recall in 2015 May Day, the president said there were no intentions to sell ECG and in 2016 May Day at Wa the president again said that they have no intentions to sell ECG.

So if they chamber had gone ahead and have concluded transaction of the sale of the business and now they are saying that new people are taking over in terms of human resource, debt recovery and so on is a big worry to labour and everybody in this country.

Because there are certain national assets that should not be left into private hands and that is what is happening. So the PUWU action is an action that must be supported by every tom dick and harry in this country.

” He said “with the kind of comment that they have made so far and the kind of threat elements, it means we are getting into a confrontational stage which is not the best for all of us.” “You said you won’t sell, now you are selling, the terms and conditions under which you are dolling out this particular transaction, Ghanaians need to know and this is what PUWU is saying government should stay away from or explain to us.”

Continue demonstrating

The Minority Spokesperson on Energy, K.T. Hammond is calling on the Public Utilities Workers Union, PUWU not to relent on their efforts to salvage the ECG, from being handed to a private investor.

He argued that if ECG is sold, then the workers are allowing government to sell their birth right. “Government hasn’t paid the monies that ECG is due. Give them the money that you owe and they will run ECG to the satisfaction to everybody.

ECG boys should demonstrate for their rights, they should go on the streets, do whatever it is for the government to sit up, they cannot be sanctioned. They are just performing their constitutional right by demonstrating to government about what they are not happy with; they cannot be threatened with such,” he added.

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