GRIDCo workers threaten nation-wide strike action – This is why

The Senior Staff Association of Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo), has threatened to withdraw  from all emergency services until the government addresses their concerns and settle the huge debts that ECG, VALCO, PDS as NEDCO owes the company. They warned of a sit down strike should their concerns not be met December 4, 2019.

According to the angry group, the company has been unable to function appropriately due to lack of funds to properly purchase and service the equipment across the country.

This call came on Thursday at a press conference organized by the Senior Staff Association and Divisional Union of GRIDCo in Accra because the company is unable to expand its transmission due to huge debts owed it.

The President of the association, Raphael Kornor, explained that the amount owed by ECG and NEDCo is about GHC607 and GHC177 million,  respectively, while VALCO and PDS also owed over US$32 million and GHC94 million to GRIDCo.

“You will all agree with me that this huge responsibility requires huge investments and for that matter, GRIDCo on its own goes into the financial markets to scout for commercial loans to fund its operations at commercial interest rates,” he added.

He therefore directed all members to hoist red flags as the harbinger of the turbulent times ahead of the strike. He pointed out that, all emergency services within the normal workings hours would be treated, however, they wont attend to emergency cases after their stipulated working hours.

“In times that we are with our wife’s and children sleeping after normal working hours, they will call you sometimes mid-night and you will have to wake up to attend to emergency cases at the station. Ladies and Gentlemen, we cannot do that again because our efforts are becoming worthless,”  he lamented.

He opined that from Friday 29th November 2019, staff of GRIDCo would march through the streets of Accra to ECG offices and picket in demand of their money, noting that, if by the deadline on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, nothing has been paid, they will declare a sit-down strike nation-wide.

“Seven days later, the staff will again march to the ECG head office and the Ministry of Finance to picket in demand for their money,” he said.

This development comes weeks after the government’s termination of the PDS concession agreement, forcing the ECG to assume full control of electricity distribution business in the southern part of Ghana which was hitherto being handled by PDS. The ECG is at the same time owing the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) huge sums of money although it occasionally receives money from the state to defray part of the debts.

The IPPs, in a related development have also supplied about 1,500 megawatts of electricity without payment and constantly threatened to shut down their plants if the government fails to settle all debts owed them.

Source: Eric Nii Sackey || [email protected]

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