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Business News of Tuesday, 31 October 2017


Selling VRA thermal plants a bad idea – TUC

The leadership of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has asked the government to halt plans of selling the Volta River Authority’s (VRA) thermal plants as advertised.

Speaking at a meeting with President Akufo-Addo at the Flagstaff House in Accra, Secretary-General of the TUC, Dr. Yaw Baah said his union is opposed to the sale of the thermal plants.

“These strategic assets are so crucial for our industrial development and for the achievement of your vision for Ghana… we do not support the privatization of such important national assets. We believe that the VRA is more capable of managing these plants efficiently and effectively,” Dr. Baah said.

The government advertised the sale of at least a majority stake in specified thermal plants owned by the VRA in August, as part of efforts to restructure the energy sector.

But this has been met with opposition from VRA staff who contend that such a move will not solve problems in the energy sector.

Protect ECG workers

Another point of contention in the energy sector that was touched on, was the process to give the Electricity Company Ghana (ECG) out on concession, as part of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Power Compact II programme.

Over 1000 workers of ECG, led by the Public Utilities Workers Union (PUWU), have sued the government over moves to hand over the operations of the company to a concessionaire without plans of a redundancy package for them.

Dr. Baah appealed to the President to intervene so that no worker of ECG loses his job following the plan to privatize it.

“I urge you, Mr. President, to ensure that the union is properly engaged so that Ghana can benefit fully from the compact. I would like to assure you that we are open to dialogue,” he added.

Dr. Baah stressed that continual engagement between the government and unions was critical to ensuring minimal tensions.

“This year [2017] has been quite peaceful, but it may not be sustainable unless we work together as tripartite partners to keep the peace we have all been enjoying since the beginning of the year,” he stated