Business News of Friday, 6 October 2017
The Minority Spokesperson on Mines and Energy, Adams Mutawakilu, is backing the Public Utilities Workers Union’s (PUWU) stance in its demand for severance packages for its members working with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
Despite government assurances, the union is asking for more concrete commitments from the government, and Mr. Mutawakilu has asked the government to put its assurances in writing as oral assurances are not enough.
“If you are assuring them of jobs, start now. Document it. If you are paying them their redundancy package, you agree now so that by next year , everything is ready and if they decide to go, they already you know you are ready to do it [meet their demands],” the opposition National Democratic Congress MP told the media on Thursday.
“… but if you wait till September next year, when their fate is being determined without their input, that is not the best way to go. I believe that a year to the takeover, the workers should know their position.”
PUWU has expressed concerns that the workers will lose their jobs as part of the Power Compact under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Power Compact II programme, which cedes the ECG to a concessioner in September 2018. The union has gone ahead to sue the ECG, the Attorney-General and the Millennium Development Authority over the dispute.
The government has expressed displeasure that they had been bypassed by PUWU, whose leadership have rather resorted to the media to voice their concerns. But the Mr. Mutawakilu said the government was to blame in the dispute as it had not done enough to engage the union.
Boakye Agyarko being stubborn
As at the time the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, announced the takeover, he hadn’t even met the workers union, which was just unfortunate,” the NDC MP noted.
Mr. Mutawakilu stressed that, as a minister, Mr. Agyarko “should rather be the one who should dialogue; who should negotiate; who should coordinate with workers to get a favorable solution to this and not take an entrenched stance.
This [the dispute] is all because the minister has taken an entrenched stance, and the workers feel that they are not being respected.”
“I feel that the minister should take his time, have a dialogue with them, discuss with them so that mother Ghana moves forward. That is very critical.”