No worker of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) will be adversely affected under the proposed privatisation of the company, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured.
Also, as part of the privatisation arrangement, the President reiterated his stance that not less than 51 per cent should be owned by Ghanaians.
The President said the government would ensure that the privatisation of the ECG under the Second Compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation would not worsen the plight of any worker.
President Akufo-Addo gave an assurance when the executive of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) called on him at the Flagstaff House on Monday.
The meeting between the President and the labour union took place behind closed doors but issues discussed included the ECG concession, the proposed sale of the Volta River Authority (VRA) thermal plants and Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
Maintaining healthy relationship with labour
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baffour- Awuah, who briefed the media after the meeting, said the President gave an assurance that the privatisation of the company would not adversely affect any worker of ECG.
On the government’s indebtedness to the tier two pension schemes, the minister said President Akufo-Addo pledged to settle the debts to the public sector workers by the end of November 2017.
According to Mr Baffour-Awuah, the President recognised the crucial role to be played by workers in the transformational agenda of the government and would, therefore, ensure that the necessary interventions were undertaken for them to meet that expectation.
The minister said President Akufo-Addo expressed his commitment to have regular engagements with workers and maintain a healthy relationship with organised labour.
The resort to the law court
Earlier, the Secretary General of the TUC, Dr Yaw Baah, said the workers of ECG were entitled to be given redundancy benefits due to the reorganisation of the company, adding:
“The Labour Act (Act 651) provides that in a re-organisation such as the ECG concession, incumbent job holders must be paid redundancy benefits.”
However, Dr Baah observed, the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) had deliberately sidelined the Public Utility Workers Union (PUWU) and was trying to use the back door.
That, he said, was the main reason why the union had gone to court to seek an injunction on the concession process and urged the President to intervene in the matter.
Dr Baah said the TUC was satisfied with the performance of the government so far and that the social and economic policies implemented by the government were yielding positive results.
He also advocated the fulltime employment and regular sitting of the National Labour Commission (NLC) to expeditiously dispose of cases brought before it.
Dr Baah said there were hundreds of cases before the commission, stressing that: “Justice must not be delayed.”
He said the TUC was against the sale of the VRA plants, saying they were strategic assets and that the TUC believed that the VRA was capable of managing those assets efficiently.