Striking workers of the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) have been asked to suspend their action and petition parliament to amicably settle whatever grievances they have.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprise, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, asked the workers who begun a site down strike today to trust parliament to resolve whatever issues they have.
“We will urge you to rescind the decision and let us [Parliament] know of your grievances and we shall do all to resolve it,” Mr Anyimadu-Antwi assured the workers on Onua FM Wednesday morning.
He added: “as soon as practicable, talk to your people to rescind the decision and trust that Parliament will resolve the issue. Prevail on them to rescind the decision and we shall sit on the issue to resolve it. Have faith in Parliament that the problem will be resolved”.
GRIDCo Divisional Union Chairman, Francis Kwabena Adjatey, who was also contributing to the issue on Onua FM said he could not alone make any commitments except to say will consult with the entire staff for a decision to be taken.
“It’s a joint movement so I will consult our people and whatever happens, we shall communicate to Parliament” he stated.
He assured the MP that by midday, “we should be able to resolve the issue and communicate back to Parliament”.
Meanwhile, Mr Adjatey said the Director of Human Resources has invited the striking staff for an emergency meeting, and indicated that they will communicate their decision to GRIDCo management.
Leadership of GRIDCo staff on Tuesday announced an indefinite strike to push government and other institutions to pay their debt to the power transmission company which is running into 1.2 billion cedis.
Figures from GRIDCo showed ECG’s debt to the company stood at 607 million cedis as of March 1, 2019; PDS 94,204,903 collected during the suspension of the PDS deal; Valco 32, 567,974 dollars as of September 30.
NEDCo, per the figures, owes the GRIDCo 177 million cedis as of September 30.
The wholly owned state entity is the independent transmission utility. It is responsible for the construction, establishing, managing and maintaining all transmission facilities, works, buildings and other systems necessary to transmit energy.
The GRIDCo workers say the huge debt was crippling the operations of the company as they are unable to expand its transmission lines.
Also, the workers say they are forced to sleep in vehicles and work under harsh conditions because the company is not able to pay for hotel bills for staff sent on monitoring duties among others.
The strike was initially scheduled to begin on December 4 but later pushed to December 10 to await a response on a petition to the workers presented to government and GRIDCo management during a recent demonstration.
According to the workers, GRIDCo management and the Finance Ministry have failed to engage them on the issues raised in the petition, noting they have since not received any response from them.
“Having revised our initial date of the sit down strike from December 4 to 10 of 2019 in anticipation of immediate response by GRIDCo Management and the institutions petitioned, which never materialized, we finally declare from Wednesday, December 11, 2019 the sit down strike until further notice,” the workers announced in a statement Tuesday.
By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|3news.com|Ghana