The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has declared a nationwide strike action expected to take effect on November 18th over what it calls an “astronomical increase in utility tariffs”
This comes after it rejected the report of the technical committee set up by President John Mahama to assess the impact of the recent hikes in utility prices.
The workers are protesting the increase in utility price hikes announced on October 1. Electricity was adjusted upward by 79% while water went up by 52 %.
A statement issued by the TUC among other things called on all Organised Labour Groups to “convene emergency meetings as soon as possible to adopt the necessary resolutions to back the planned nationwide industrial actions.”
Below is the press statement issued after the meeting
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, “examine mitigating 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, 18th 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.