Workers strike not best option – Labour group
The Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) on Wednesday said the Trade Union Congress’ (TUC) decision to embark on a strike action was not the best option in addressing issues of increases in utility tariffs.
The GFL has, therefore, cautioned TUC to be patient and rather resort to social dialogue as the best way to reach an amicable agreement that would help mitigate the hardships that such increment would bring to bear on workers and industry.
Mr. Abraham Koomson, Secretary General of the GFL at a press conference in Accra said whereas the Federation had already expressed worry about the new utility rates and the lethal potency of the impact on industry, it also condemned the TUC for its hasty threat to embark on a range of unplanned industrial actions that could lead to innocent workers being victimized.
“Innocent workers would become victims of the enforcement of the unguarded declaration of the 10 Day ultimatum”, Mr Koomsson warned.
He said the GFL also considered the situation of the industry as very volatile and that greater caution was needed to be exercised in addressing the inimical issues, saying, already, industry had suffered under unfavourable economic policies of governments resulting in massive layoffs.
He said the GFL with all its 12 affiliates unions were not involved in the final decision of workers strike action as announced by the TUC, General Secretary Mr. Kofi Asamoah.
“We all started the discussions as to our concerns of the high increase of electricity and water rates announced by the Public Utility Regulation Commission few weeks back but we did not suggest a strike action as an immediate option,” he indicated.
The GFL, therefore, recommended that the technical working committee set up by Government to look into the impact of the increases should expedite actions in coming out with results to mitigate the stress on industry and domestic consumers.
It also recommended that tariff adjustments should be made based on an automatic formula as agreed by stakeholders in 2010, and that the Government should take appropriate steps to ensure that the gas processing infrastructure in the Western Region was operational.
GFL further called for reduction in utility distribution losses, and also, operators should put in place an efficient mechanism to collect revenue.