General News of Wednesday, 18 February 2015
The Trades Union Congress is to convene an emergency steering committee meeting by the end of next week to mount pressure on government to immediately resolve the power crisis.
Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress, Dr. Kofi Asamoah hinted this at a news conference in Accra. Already, some companies have cut down staff numbers due to the on-going power crisis.
Latest figures from the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) indicate that over 300 workers have been laid off as of February this year. Currently, government has signed numerous agreements with development partners to help resolve the problem.
But the Trades Union Congress is to convene a meeting next week to mount pressure on government to immediately solve the crisis.
“The steering committee will be meeting over this critical issue but there are other related issues such as the reforms at ECG. The kind of response and the reaction to solving the energy problem at the ECG; whether we should go for private-public participation and all that are the things we are referring to. We are doing some studies on some specific issues since Government has said it is ready to engage”.
Meanwhile, the TUC is to join global unions on Wednesday, February 18, to fight for workers right to embark on strikes.
As working people, we will not stop at anything to protect our right to strike. Whether people want it or not, when we are dissatisfied with things that affect our wellbeing, nothing can stop us from exercising the right to strike. Employers also have their own right to also lockout,” he noted.
The TUC Secretary General is also of the view that essential service providers should be given urgent considerations by Government in order to prevent strikes in that sector.
“If you consider them as essential service and the law says their issues should be handled with dispatch, then you have to do so. The tendency is that if you don’t shout nobody hears of you; so you have to shout that you want to strike then they will rush in a firefighting approach to be solving problems.
“I want to also state clearly that what we require from the police to embark on strike is not a permit. It’s a notice; we only notify them but that is not to say we need their permission to be on the streets” he emphasized.