Pre-paid credit crisis looms as ECG's strike bites | General News 2016-09-02
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General News of Friday, 2 September 2016


Pre-paid credit crisis looms as ECG's strike bites

Staff of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) have suspended services in their offices across the country as they protest the planned privatisation of the power distribution company.

The staff who are part of the Public Utility Workers Union (PUWU) want to press home demands on government to have a second look at the privatisation agreement.

The workers last week suspended services for three hours each working day for three days. But starting Friday, they have escalated the action by withdrawing their services totally except emergencies.

A scan across some offices in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western and Volta Regions showed that staff of the power distribution company were idle.

A visit to the Accra East Regional office of ECG showed some offices locked while others were empty leaving customers stranded.

The main entrance to the office as well as other structures within the premises were draped with a symbol of protest in the form of a red fabric.

Customers hoping to buy pre-paid credit expressed their disappointment to Joy News’ Joseph Ackah-Blay.

“I want to find out what is going on….my light is off. I am a barber, if I don’t get credit I cannot work”, a man who gave his name as Baba told Joy News.”

Joy News found the leaders locked up in a meeting at the Accra East office leaving customers bewildered.

Speaking to Joy News, National Divisional Chairman of the Junior Staff Union, Benedict Kanoseh, said services will only be provided for emergencies.
"The service available to customers is emergency… for instance, the hospital…apart from that we are not serving anybody," he said.

The situation was no different at the Roman Ridge District Office.

In the Volta Region, Joy News regional correspondent, Ivy Setordjie reported the situation could get chaotic. She explained that the staff at the Ho regional office worked for about two hours and then locked the main gate.

Reporting from the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi, Price Appiah said ECG staff loitered about the compound and explained that they had been directed not to attend to any customers.

A customer expressed concern that he may have to sleep in darkness especially with the weekend at the corner. He said the staff should have informed the public prior to the withdrawal of their services.

"We came for credit….when we came they said they are strike…it is like putting dust in our eyes" he told Joy News' Prince Appiah.