Workers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) are expected to embark on a sit-down strike in their offices across the country today [Tuesday].
They are dissatisfied with what they say is government’s plan to outsource some services of the company.
According to them, the move could lead to worker retrenchment and other unforeseen consequences.
Citi News’ Sixtus Dong Ullo who visited some ECG offices in Accra reported that “some big banners with the inscription ‘MIDA stop ECG privatization now, leave ECG alone’ were seen at the main entrance of those offices in protest against government’s intended move.
The National Divisional Chairman of the Junior Staf Union of ECG, Benedict Kanose told Citi News, ECG workers are unhappy about government dealings with Millenium Development Authority (MIDA), leading the public private partnership.
“We are showing our displeasure, the way MIDA is handling things, we think it is not right. They have to sit down with our leadership to really iron issues out . We are not happy about how things are going. We will wear our red bands, wear our red T-shirts… because we are showing our displeasure.”
When Ghana qualified under compact 2 of the Millenuim Develepoment Challenge Account to outsource client services to private sector investors, assertions of the sale of the power distributor became rife.
Workers within the electricity company joined forces to oppose the fruition of any such plans.
President John Dramani Mahama was again forced to clarify Ghana’s position on the deal at the gathering of workers during this year’s May day’s commemoration in Wa in the Upper West Region and allayed the fears of the workers.
“ECG is and will remain a wholly owned state owned enterprise. Government has no intentions of privatizing ECG.
Government’s agreement under the Milleniuum Challenge Compact is to leverage private sector participation at the client level to assit in resolving client complaints and revenue collection. There will be no worker retrenchment occurring as a result of this reform. “
Despite this clarification, workers are still skeptical of government’s true intentions for the company. From outright blames on government for contributing largely to ECG’s woes to suspicions of subtle anti worker dealings.
Some workers within the power sector who spoke to Citi News remained doubtful of this public private partnership under ECG.