Business News of Friday, 15 March 2013
The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) of Ghana Trades Union Congress says the union will strongly oppose any attempts by government to increase tariff in the country as suggested by the Volta River Authority (VRA).
This was contained in a press statement signed by Mr Morgan Ayawine, ICU Deputy General Secretary Operations and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Thursday. The union says electricity tariff increase has, for some time now, become very distasteful to consumers, which cannot be treated lightly by organised labour.
It said the indispensability of electricity in the life of consumers, being individuals or corporate organisation is indisputable and therefore, places consumers in an inextricable situation where electricity tariff increase are willy-nilly forced down the throats of Ghanaians.
“It seems the VRA, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and their associates in the power production, distribution and supply business; fully aware of the dispensability of electricity and knowing that there is no immediate alternative have developed a notoriety to rush and asked for tariff increase at the least opportunity without even exploring other possibilities to resolve their problems and challenges,” the statement added.
It said the VRA, ECG and their associates are always asking for more tariff increase without regard to its ramification on consumers. The statement said the two companies should not be allowed to have their way and take consumers for a ride especially as their services do not commensurate with the increase in tariffs they are asking for.
It recounted that three years ago, a huge increase in electricity and water tariffs were imposed on consumers; with the assurance that it would enable the authorities to resolve the power and water crises.
It said three years down the line, the same demand for tariff increase and the same assurances to resolve the power problem and ensure sustainability of the service delivery companies is being thrust upon consumers again.
The ICU said there was no guarantee that VRA and its associate would not come back again after this to demand another tariff increase, all in the name of resolving power crises. It noted that last year Ghanaians were given the assurance that the power crisis was going to be over by the middle of November, but it did not happen; and up to date there is no clear signal when it would be over.
The statement said this is becoming cyclical and unacceptable; and therefore must not be allowed to continue.