GHANAIAN WORKERS DEMAND END TO TYRANNY


TUC Secretary General, Kofi Asamoah
By Duke Nii Amartey Tagoe
Organized labour has held a massive demonstration in the 10 regional capitals of Ghana to demand an end to the tyranny of government and the dwindling fortunes of Ghanaian workers.

The leadership of the striking workers has expressed outrage at the recent bizarre increases in the price of utilities-water and electricity.

The more than 5000 demonstrators drawn from the workers unions of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have also called for a full disclosure of the agreement signed between the government of Ghana and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Following the recent bailout of government by the Bretton Woods institution, spokespersons of government have dropped hints about a possible takeover or sale or privatization of the Electricity Company of Ghana.

The move will also lead to the partition of the Volta River Authority into two entities in order to create space or allow for the participation of private businesses.

In the middle of the confusion, Ghana has been yet to determine the ownership of the Volta Aluminium Company Limited (VALCO). The company siphons much of the energy that is produced by the VRA to the detriment of ordinary Ghanaian citizens.

Meanwhile, Mr Joël Touhas-Bernaté, Mission Chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for Ghana, says the increase in electricity tariffs reflected a “new reality for Ghana”.

He said the global environment with declining commodity prices and tightening in international markets has lead to higher borrowing costs and therefore the need to raise revenues locally.

According to him, the increase in tariff was necessary “while steps are being taken to improve electricity supply by bringing in new producers”.

What this brilliant White man sitting in Washington with a cup of hot coffee in hand is simply trying to say is that, in order for private companies to find the energy sector lucrative for investment, the power sector must be restructured to pay for existing debts and to maximize profit for the new comers.

Unfortunately, what Ghana’s President, John Dramani Mahama and his administration is refusing to recognise is that all decisions of government have political implications.

What is worse, these protests by organized labour are coming at a time when the country is gearing up for a heated general election on the 7th of November 2016 amidst rising levels of unemployment.

A pictorial report of the workers’ demonstration can be found below:

TUC Secretary General leads nation wide protests over rise in in prices of basic commodities
 More than 50, 000 workers protest over dwindling fortunes in the streets of Accra
A protestor calls on President Mahama to fix the economy
 Organised labour calls for better working conditions and the removal of outrageous taxes
 Accra draws to a halt as workers protests along the principal streets
We Are Suffering said this placard
A protestor with a placard asking the President to remove taxes on Petroleum
Workers oppose new tariffs and demands immediate cut
A well attended protest march drums home the suffering of ordinary Ghanaian workers
Labour Relations Minister addresses protestors and pleads for calm
Photo credits: Daily Graphic and Samuel Tei Adano

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