GHANA Railway workers have appealed to government to place the more than 1,500 railway workers on the Public Sector Payroll to forestall occasional delays and non-payment of salaries.
They also asked for the implementation of the 50 per cent salary adjustment proposed for railway workers last year so that they could cope with the harsh economic conditions they faced.
“We want to say that there has been delays in releasing government financial support for the payment of salaries over the years, the salaries of railway workers are very low and unattractive, even the managing director basic pay is not up to GH₵ 2000.00,” they noted.
The General Secretary of Ghana Railway Workers Union, Mr. Goodwill Ntarmah made the statement at a meeting in Takoradi in the Western region.
The meeting was merged with the Ghana Railway Company Limited and Trade Union Congress to address issues and challenges facing the railway industry in Ghana.
Mr. Ntarmah said, it was necessary to take stock of activities and also to map out strategies for this year as leaders of the various branches of the union.
He noted that the creation of the ministry alone will not result in automatic revamping of the railway industry.
Addressing some challenges Mr. Ntarmah said, the locomotive availability for the haulage of manganese and running of the Accra to Nsawam passenger service was very critical.
He said whereas there has been delays in releasing government financial support for the payment of salaries over the years, the salaries of railway workers were very low and unattractive, even the managing director basic pay is not up to GH₵ 2000.00.
He emphasized that there was the need for technical expertise to advise the ministry technically and professionally to undertake the enormous task and also deal with the issue of appointment of board of directors for both GRDA and Ghana Railways Company Limited
He assured the ministry of the railway workers total support and cooperation and asked the government to wholeheartedly open their doors to ensure effective collaboration.
Minister for Railway Development, Mr. Joe Ghartey, charged all to be proud of the role the railway has played in the independence struggle.
He mentioned that out of the 950km of rail track that existed in Independence Day, “today barely 13per cent is operational. Some areas have been taken over by squatters and galamsey operators”.
Story by Simon Ahensah, ATV