Business News of Tuesday, 3 October 2017
The Public Utilities Workers Union (PUWU) has sued three institutions that are playing key roles in the privatization of the Electricity Company of Ghana.
The suit brought against Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), the Attorney-General and the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) is in respect of the non-payment of redundancy package to its members.
PUWU in a writ filed at the Accra High Court Tuesday argued the decision to handover the nation’s power distributor to a concessionaire will affect its members for which reason a package needs to be given to its members. Advertisement
It said discussions that went into negotiations for the sale of ECG did not factor the declaration of redundancy, despite the directive in Section 65 of the Labour Act, 2005 (Act 651).
Under the privatization agreement, ECG workers will be transferred to the concessionaire referred as ‘grandfather’ with the same entitlement as pertained previously in the ECG engagement agreement.
But PUWU said its members need to be given a redundancy package because of the possibility of a retrenchment exercise, which might affect them.
PUWU is asking the court to declare that the government’s approach to transfer ECG workers to the concessionaire known as grandfathering constitutes a redundancy, contemplated by the Labour Act.
It is also demanding an order directing the three defendants to comply with the provisions of Act 651, which details redundancy process that has to be followed.
The Union is seeking a perpetual injunction to restrain the defendants, their assigns and privies from continuing with the Compact between the government and MiDA over the sale of ECG.
PUWU wants a declaration that the failure of 1st and 2nd defendants [ECG and Attorney General respectively] to declare a redundancy for workers of ECG constitutes a breach of the contract of employment between the plaintiff and 1st defendant.
General Secretary of PUWU, Michael Nyantakyi told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story their demands are nothing new to the Energy Minister and his two deputies.
He said they started raising the red flag when government began to engage the concessionaire in the sale of ECG but nothing was done about it. “We don’t want to get to the end of the process [before] we know we are either right or wrong,” he said, adding their action will save the future of PUWU members.