Organised Labour: Suspend Tariff Hikes

Organised Labour has demanded that utilities regulator PURC suspend the implementation of the recently increased tariffs for electricity and water.

“PURC should suspend the implementation of any new tariff until there is some stability in the supply of power,” Organised Labour added in a statement jointly signed by Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Judicial Services Staff Association of Ghana (JUSSAG), Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), and the Ghana Medical Association (GMA).

Tariffs for water and electricity were adjusted upwards by 67.2% and 59.2%, respectively.

However, Organised Labour is of the view that: “The utility companies must be compelled by the PURC to reduce their technical and operational inefficiencies as the condition for tariff review.”

Below is the TUC’s press statement:

Organised Labour press statement on utility tariff increases

The PURC has approved new rates of utility tariffs. In a statement issued on Monday, 7th December, 2015, the PURC announced a 59.2 percent increase in electricity tariff across the board and between 69 and 89.8 percent increase in water tariff.

Our position is that PURC should have first considered the availability and reliability of power before a review of tariffs.

We maintain that it is only when the people of Ghana, including workers in both formal and informal sectors of the economy, are sure of a reliable supply of power and water that they can be convinced to pay higher tariffs.

Ghanaian consumers are already paying heavily for the depreciation of the Ghana Cedi and the high inflation. Real wages have fallen drastically especially since 2012.

We have been following the debate and discussions in the media since PURC announced the newly approved tariffs. The people of Ghana still doubt whether these tariff increases are going to solve the ‘dumsor’, as the utility providers would like us to believe.

Following our consultations with the PURC, we did not expect any increase in tariffs beyond 50 percent as against the 129 to 400 percent proposed by the utility companies, on condition that the power supply would have stabilised. We also expected the implementation of any new tariffs to start next year.

As workers, we are worried about the ever-increasing utility tariffs which do not match the rate of increase in incomes.

We are also concerned about the poor macro-economic performance and the technical and operational inefficiencies of the utility companies which have contributed greatly to the frequent hikes in tariffs.

We demand, as a matter of urgency, that:

(1) PURC should reduce the tariffs further; (2) PURC should suspend the implementation of any new tariff until there is some stability in the supply of power; (3) The utility companies must be compelled by the PURC to reduce their technical and operational inefficiencies as the condition for tariff review.

………………………………………………….. KOFI ASAMOAH SECRETARY GENERAL OF TUC

…………………………………………………… ALBERT YAMOAH GHANA FEDERATION OF LABOUR (GFL)

………………………………………………. AHENAKWA-QUARSHIE GHANA NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS (GNAT)

…………………………………………………. EMMANUEL BAAH BENIMAH INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS’ UNION (ICU)

………………………………………………….. CHRISTIAN ODUE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE TEACHERS (NAGRAT)

………………………………………………….. DR. JUSTICE YANKSON GHANA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (GMA)

…………………………………………………… ALEX NARTEY JUDICIAL SERVICES STAFF ASSOCIATION OF GHANA (JUSAG)

…………………………………………………………….. VIDA SAPABIL COALITION OF CONCERNED TEACHERS (CCT)


DATED: 9TH DECEMBER 2015 ACCRA

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