Organized labour groups under the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have picked November 18, 2013 as the D-day for workers, both in the formal and in formal sectors, to stay home in one of the biggest nationwide strikes ever embarked in Ghana.
After a crunch meeting Monday, TUC decided to stage demonstrations in all regional capitals which will eventually culminate in a strike action on November 18, 2013.
In a statement, the labour group also indicated that: “We, therefore, have no option but to call on all the working people of Ghana, their families and the good people of Ghana to express their dissatisfaction about the failure on the part of government to reduce utility tariffs to affordable levels”
The statement which was signed by seven organized labour groups: the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the Ghana National Association of Graduate Teachers, Polytechnic Administrators Association of Ghana, the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union and the Judicial Services Staff Association of Ghana, also indicated that it cannot tolerate “such insensitive actions on the part of the so-called independent state institutions…”
Below is the full statement from the TUC
PRESS STATEMENT BY ORGANISED LABOUR
The Leadership of Organised Labour met, once again, today, Tuesday, 29th October, 2013 to deliberate on recent developments since the PURC announced increases in utility tariffs on behalf of the Government. You may recall that, following Organised Labour leadership meeting held on Tuesday, 8th October, 2013, a ten-day ultimatum was issued to the PURC and the Government to reduce the tariffs or face the wrath of workers.
Following the ultimatum, Government constituted a Technical Working Group (TWG) to, among other terms of reference, "examinemitigating measures that would allow industry and consumers to adjust to any new level of tariff adjustment".
After a thorough examination of the TWG report, we have come to the conclusion that none of the scenarios presented in the report addresses the concerns of Organized Labour. For example, the TWG's best possible scenario which proposes 60 percent increase in the end-user-tariff for electricity implies an effective increase of76 percent as a result of the additional levies and charges.
We, therefore, have no option but to call on all the working people of Ghana, their families and the good people of Ghana to express their dissatisfaction about the failure on the part of Government to reduce utility tariffs to affordable levels.
The following are the actions we have planned to back our demand for the reduction of utility tariffs:
1. On Monday, is" November, 2013, all workers in both the formal and informal sectors are requested to stay at home in protest against the astronomical increase in utility tariffs.
2. Organised Labour groups in all the 10 regions are requested to convene meetings to plan and stage demonstrations in all the Regional Capitals before 18th November, 2013.
3. All Organised Labour Groups are requested to convene emergency meetings as soon as possible to adopt the necessary resolutions to back the planned nationwide industrial actions.
We call on all workers to participate fully in these actions in order to send a clear message to Government that Ghana is not for the few politicians who are making decisions and choices on our behalf and that we cannot tolerate such insensitive actions on the part of the so-called independent state institutions who are established to make decisions on our behalf.
We will continue to keep workers updated on all developments. We thank all workers for their support so far. We are, once again, appeal" to you to sustain this struggle until we achieve our aim.
We continue to count on your support.
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