General News of Friday, 6 October 2017
Mr Adams Mutawakilu, the Minority Spokesperson on Energy has called on government to show transparency by dialoguing with the aggrieved workers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
According to him, the Minority in Parliament was not impressed with the way the Minister of Energy, Mr Boakye Agyarko was handling the issue.
Mr Adams Mutawakilu made the call during an interview with the media in Parliament on issues concerning the aggrieved workers of ECG.
The Public Utilities Workers Union (PUWU) has filed a suit demanding a severance package because of the possibility of a retrenchment exercise, which they believe could affect them once the company was given to the concessionaire.
The government however rejected the demands of the ECG staff describing it as hasty since they were yet to select a concessionaire.
The Energy Minister at a press briefing in Accra noted that any such payments would only be made for workers who voluntarily decide to sever their relationship with the company after the takeover.
Mr Mutawakilu also stated that the reason why the workers are agitated was because the Minister had taken an entrenched position on the matter and the workers felt disrespected.
He said the ECG staff themselves had stated many times that the Minister had not engaged them and were not sure of their fate under the concession.
He cited for example that when the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) took over UT Bank and Capital Bank and the workers were assured at least six months, less than three months some of them had been asked to go home.
“That tells you that by word of mouth assurance is not enough, if that time the workers had signed an agreement with government with respect to that they would have taken different action which would inure to their benefit” he added.
Mr Mutawakilu further stated that government’s assurance that no ECG worker would be laid off should not be taken as a legal binding agreement until they had proper agreement with government.
He said there was the need for workers of ECG to know their fate in terms of their job security before the company was taken over by the concessionaire in 2018.
He said the government must explore an out of court settlement with the aggrieved workers or risk losing the Compact II since the court action was likely to affect the process.