DEFIANT TUC HITS THE STREETS
The two most well organized labour groups in the Tema Metropolis have described as insensitive the decision of government and the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) to slap on Ghanaians tariff increases of 78.9% and 52% in electricity and water respectively without consideration for workers ability to pay.
The Tema Organized Labour (TOL) and the Tema District Council of Labour (TDCL) have, therefore, called on government and the PURC to reduce the announced increases in accordance with the demands of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and organized labour.
The two groups warned that failure on the part of the government to heed their call would compel them to join hands with the TUC to embark on whatever action they have planned to ensure that the burden and hardship on Ghanaian workers had been reduced.
Speaking at a mammoth gathering of members of the two groups at the forecourt of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) yesterday, chairman of TDCL, Wilson Agana said the workers find the utility price hikes unbearable and unacceptable.
‘The Tema Organized Labour in session also resolved to endorse and support the position of the TUC and Organized Labour on the utility price hikes. The TOL urges the leadership of the TUC and Organized Labour to use all legitimate means to get the tariffs reduced to levels that workers and Ghanaians can afford.
‘The Tema Organized Labour also pledges its support and readiness to go with the TUC and Organized Labour at every length to bring down the tariffs and that workers in the Metropolis stand ready to initiate and join any action should government and the PURC fail to meet the genuine demands of the workers and Ghanaians’, he noted.
Mr. Agana bemoaned the adverse social and economic effects, the utility price hikes would have on Ghanaian workers and their families, especially the fact that government only managed to increase public sector salaries by only 10%, this year.
‘This year, government only managed to increase public sector pay by just 10 percent whilst the national daily minimum wage (NDMW) had a meager increase of 17 percent’, he disclosed.
He continued that not only are Ghanaian workers going to pay 78.9% and 52% increase in electricity and water tariffs respectively, but ‘A VAT of 12.5% and NHIL of 2.5% is also deducted from the amount of electricity power or water one goes to purchase’.
The TDCL chairman hinted that government’s inability to implement the automatic adjustment system of utility tariffs should not be passed onto the already burdened Ghanaian worker.
‘The TOL finds it unacceptable, the hardship brought on the working people of Ghana by the actions of government and the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) through this unjustifiable utility price increase’, he explained.
The workers who were drawn from all the companies across the length and breadth of the industrial city, spotting red and black T-Shirts with red hand and head bands later marched through some principal streets within the Metropolis.
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