Labour readies for protests over utility, fuel hikes

Organised Labour will later Friday announce series of industrial actions including strikes and demonstrations against government over recent hikes in utility and fuel prices.

At a meeting on Thursday, government rejected a request by the labour unions for the controversial energy sector levy to be scrapped.

The levy has resulted in a 28% increase in prices of petroleum products.

Also water and electricity tariffs have seen an increase of over 50% each. The Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) increased electricity tariff by 59.2 % and water tariff by 67.2% for residential consumers.

Organised Labour says price increases “are reckless and a display of the insensitivity on the part of managers of the economy to the plight of the ordinary Ghana.ian.”

“Organised Labour gives government up to the close of day (18hrs GMT) on Wednesday, 13 January 2016 to meet these demands. If these demands are not met by the said date, Organised Labour would unleash series of nationwide actions,” the labour unions said in a joint release last week.

General Secretary of the Ghana Federation of Labour, Abraham Koomson, told Joy News plans for demonstrations and a two-day nationwide strike on January 21 will be firmed up Friday.

“What drove the camel’s back is when we had started engaging them on the PURC decision on electricity and water tariffs, we met once and it was an inconclusive meeting. It was adjourned to the 12th [of January] then they [government] came out with this fuel levy. It was an indirect way of telling us that ‘look even though we are meeting with you, you can go to hell,’” Mr Koomson said.

He explains the hikes in the price of petroleum products has been the biggest source of discontent among workers in the country.

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