Customers appeal to ECG workers to stop daily protest

Mr Robert Dwamena,Acting ECG Boss.

Customers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) are appealing to workers of the company to rescind their ongoing daily protest meant to push for the abrogation of plans to cede the company to a private investor.

The customers said the ongoing industrial action was having a toll on them especially when they need the services of the ECG workers during the hour of the demonstration. 

Some of the customers who spoke to The Ghanaian Times at the Avenor office of the ECG yesterday, which marked day two of their partial strike, said they were already feeling the pinch of the daily protest.

At the time this paper got to the ECG office, about 12 customers sat to watch the workers, clad in red, to  embark on their demonstration.

Mr. Emmanuel Akpor, one of the customers in need of service at about 9 a.m said the aggrieved workers needed to take into consideration the plight of the customers.

A disappointed Mr. Akpor, who was at the ECG in fulfillment of a date reached with the officials of the company last week in relation to his application for a meter, said he would have to sit unproductive until the protest came to an end.

Government, he said, must find a way to settle the impasse with the workers of the company because productivity was being affected.

Mr. Francis Dukor, another stranded customer, who couldn’t wait for the demonstration to end, shared same sentiment.

Speaking in the Twi dialect, Mr. Dukor said customers must not be used as a conduit to reach an agreement with the government.

The ECG, led by the Public Utilities Workers Union (PUWU), on Tuesday, declared a three-hour demonstration daily between Wednesday, August 24 and Friday, August 26, to press home their demand for the abrogation of a planned concession of the company.

The demonstration which spans between 8 a.m and 11 a.m, they said, was the first in series of actions scheduled to press home their demand.

At a press conference on Tuesday, the PUWU called on government to review the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact which seeks to give up the ECG to private investors for a period of 25 years.

But it appears the deal is now cast in stone.

President John Mahama at an event in Accra in June, said government would go ahead with the concession of the ECG in spite of the opposition, and urged the workers of the company to prepare their minds for the deal.

Under the agreement, the concessionaire would operate, maintain and invest in the distribution assets of the ECG, under a Lease and Assignment Agreement.

Meanwhile, the Power Ministry has hinted that it might take punitive actions against workers of  the company if they do not immediately abort their ongoing three-hour daily protest scheduled to end today.

The Deputy Minister for Power, John Jinapor, in an interview with Accra based Citi FM said the workers must not expect that all their demands would be met.

“In negotiations, you do not get all that you demand. When you come with your demands, the other party also comes with its demands”, he stated.

By Julius Yao Petetsi

 

 

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