Workers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) yesterday embarked on a demonstration to demand the compulsory retirement of their Managing Director, Mr. Robert Dwamena, who they said had reached the retiring age of 60.
Dressed in red, the workers clashed with security personnel at the ECG Head Office in Accra, resulting in the smashing of the glass door to the entrance.
They carried placards, some with the inscriptions, “You betrayed our trust”, “What do you have to show for during your tenure”, “MD, leave the scene for others to come”, among others.
The glasses of the door came down when the workers attempted to present a resolution to management of the company but were blocked by the security men.
The protest was, however, short lived after personnel from the Accra Divisional Command intervened and brought the situation under control and tried to arrest the leadership of the workers in the process for flouting the Public Order Act.
According to the police the workers did not have their permission to embark on such protest.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, the Accra Divisional Commander, said the workers’ union did not notify the police ahead of the demonstration, in compliance with the Public Order Act.
A brawl nearly ensued between the police and the workers when ACP Addo-Danquah ordered that the Chairman of the Junior Staff Workers Union and the Public Utility Workers Union, Mr. Ben Kanoese, be arrested.
Mr. Kanoese was later asked to report himself to the Regional Police Command for investigations.
At the time of filing this report, attempts to ascertain the situation with the police proved futile.
Sources within the workers union told The Ghanaian Times that Mr. Dwamena celebrated his 60th birthday on September 28, and should have proceed on retirement immediately but they had reliable information that Mr. Dwamena had been given a one year contract extension.
“His tenure of office has brought nothing good to this company. He must go and it’s as simple as that” the source said.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Power, John Jinapor, has called on the workers to exercise restraint over their demands, expressing shock as to why the workers did not make any official complaint regarding their grievances.
“I am surprised that the staff are up in arms against the Managing Director without stating the specific reasons for demanding his removal,” he said.
Mr. Jinapor further entreated the workers to communicate their grievances through the proper channel for redress.
The workers of the company have been protesting in recent times since government announced plans to cede the power distribution company to a private investor for 25 years.
By Julius Yao Petetsi