The Public Utility Workers Union (PUWU) of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is demanding from Government their redundancy packages before the nation’s premiere power distribution company was handed over to concessionaire.
The workers’ demands were sparked by Government’s agreement with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact Two, which seeks to privatize the operations of the ECG for 20 years.
The workers, who turned up in their numbers on Tuesday, wore red T-shirts and arm bands, chanting war songs and calling on the Government to properly engage the PUWU on their welfare.
Addressing the media after hours of demonstration, Mr Enoch Paul-Hayes, Regional Chairman of PUWU, called on the Government to fully engage and collaborate with the workers of ECG on their severance packages on the 20 years concession of ECG.
He bemoaned the lack of proper consultation on the concessional processes saying, the objective of Government to privatize ECG could have been done without a foreign entity to manage it.
They stated categorically that, they were not in support or against the privatisation of ECG, adding that, the country has enough competent brains to steer the affairs of the Company for profit.
According to them, several appeals to the Government to rescind its decision on giving ECG on concession had fallen on deaf ears, therefore, it was incumbent on Government to adhere to the strict dictates of the labour laws for their severance packages.
“All we are saying is that, we need our severance packages because we were engaged by Government so if there is any change of ownership and management, we deserve every right to seek for redundancy packages from the one who employed us.”
“Once the Government had decided to put ECG on concession, it is obvious that some employees would be dismissed or reassigned by the new Company, therefore there is the need to pay such staff as stipulated in the labour Act.”
The Regional Chairman of PUWU further expressed their deep displeasure with the ECG concession saying: “We want to register our strong reservation at the refusal of the Ministry of Energy to come clean on the issue of severance payments to employees in the absence of any contract engagement with PUWU.”
In view of that, he pointed out that they were poised to go all out to ensure that workers welfare were held paramount and not shortchanged, particularly potential job losers.
Mr Hayes assured the Government that they will use all legitimate means applicable to protect and defend the interest of the workers of ECG.”
They contended that the major problems facing the ECG was Government indebtedness to the organization, and that, it was a big fallacy that just giving ECG out will address the challenges facing the sector.
They also blamed the lack of political will to appoint well experienced and competent individuals to manage ECG and stressed the need for President Nana Akufu-Addo and the Ministry of Energy to show commitment to the welfare of the workers of ECG by addressing their concerns.