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Public sector workers reject privatisation in power sector

Friday, 11 December 2015 13:56

The Public Services Workers’ Union of Trade Union Congress has served notice to reject any attempt by the government to privatise the country's power sector, which has in the last years been crippled with challenges.

It says it would oppose any form of privatisation; be it concession or management contracts, as well as Public Private Partnership in the water, sanitation, primary heath and educational sectors of the economy.

General Secretary of the Union, Richard Amparbeng, explained that in principle, the union in principle, is not against Public Private Partnerships but rather, cannot accept it when it is not in the interest of the State.

“We are aware of people behind the privatization of our power but we shall resist any attempt by multinational enterprises trying to take advantage of our current energy challenges,” he said at the 9th Quadrennial Delegates’ Conference of the Union in Kumasi.

Mr. Amparbeng assured its members working at the Volta River Authority, GRIDCo and NEDCo that, the union would stand with them in the midst of all “threats of unbundling” to pave way for privatization.

“PPP must be encouraged in areas where the State does not have the capacity or cannot build comparative advantages, such as the railway sector, tourism and culture,” he advised.

The Union, he said, holds the view that, a decent PPP relationship must be based on “mutual respect” devoid of “ideological conditionality” which is often not in the best interest of the working masses and citizens of the country.

Responding to the Union’s rejection of PPP in the power sector, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu said the current state of ECG is not acceptable, especially in sustaining its management into the future without the necessary reforms.

He noted that, there are a lot of leakages, illegal connections, high arrears, and loss of money to the state at ECG, thus, the need for it to be privatized.

“The indebtedness of state institutions, leakages, and illegal connections will not find favour in the diligence of private sector,” he noted.

Haruna Iddrisu howeve said the government would ensure that private service providers do not take the government for granted.

The Secretary-General of the Trade Union Congress, Brother Kofi Asamoah commended PSWU’s effort in the negotiation of categories 2 and 3 allowances for public workers and the conclusion of the base pay negotiations.

He said, PPP should be encouraged and placed at the right sectors, but not misplaced just for personal gains.

The annual delegates’ congress of the PSWU brought together representatives of all 182 branches of the union across the country to discuss and offer constructive alternatives to help build a strong and resilient Trades Union, with emphasis on the defense of the rights of workers and the advancement of the economic and social rights of the members and citizenry in general.

By Ibrahim Abubakar|tv3network.com