Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko
The Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko, has stated that workers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) must prepare to leave their jobs if they receive their redundancy pay.
The Public Utility Workers Union (PUWU) on Tuesday picketed at the premises of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), demanding for severance pay for ECG staff before they participate in the privatization of ECG under the Millennium Power Compact Two programme.
But reacting to the demands at a press conference, Mr. Agyarko insisted that, workers of ECG who want their severance packages will not be prevented, but must leave the company after receiving it.
“…If you decide to leave ECG, then you will be paid your severance, but you should not have the expectation or guarantee that the new company will take you on. You have made a decision to sever your relations with ECG, and it should not put you in faithful expectation that going forward you have a job with the new company. So it is opened, all the ECG workers who want to leave and not join the new company are at liberty to do so and their severance so arranged.”
“But it is not going to be a collective bargaining situation where all 6,500 ECG workers are paid the severance and then transferred to the new company. You are at liberty to transfer yourself to the new company and carry with you all the benefits from ECG and continue accruing new benefits. You are equally at liberty to say that I want to wash my hands off ECG and go my own way,” he added.
Customers stranded as ECG workers embark on sit down strike
Customers of the ECG, were stranded on Wednesday at various offices of the company, following a two-hour sit down strike by the staff.
They staff had embarked on the move in demand of their severance packages with ECG as government is working on finalizing efforts to privatize operations of ECG.
The inscription “CLOSED” was boldly shown at the entrance to the offices, as customers were turned away.
One customer, Paul Donkor, who had come to pay his electricity bills, said “they [workers] told me to come back at 10:00am. I wanted to come early to leave for work, but now, I have to go to work and return tomorrow. Let’s pray that they are able to settle whatever issue it is, so I can successfully pay my bill when I return tomorrow [Thursday],” he added.