Gridco Workers threaten strike over arrears

Staff of Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) has been asked to withdraw all emergency services to push government to settle debt ECG, VALCO, PDS as well NEDCO owes the company GRIDCo.

The call comes from the Senior Staff and the Divisional Union of Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo).

Addressing the press in Accra, the union through its President, Raphael Kornor revealed that, ECG and NEDCo owe about GHC607 million and GHC177 million, respectively while VALCO and PDS owe over US$32 million and GHC94 million, respectively.

To press down their issue, the President of the Senior Staff and the Divisional Union of GRIDCo stressed that, the company’s staff will embark on a sit-down strike if their concerns are not addressed by December 4, 2019.

And members have also been directed to hoist red flags as a harbinger of the turbulent times ahead of the energy sector

Though he pointed out that, all emergency services within the normal workings will be treated, they wont treat emergency services after the stipulated working hours.

“In times past GRIDCo staff will be sleeping, they will call you and you will have to wake up. Ladies and Gentlemen we cannot do that again because our efforts are becoming effortless”, he lamented.

Adding that, From Friday 29th November 2019, staff are going to march to ECG office and picket in demand of their money noting that, if by the close of work, Wednesday, December 4, 2019, all these things are not paid, they will declare a sit-down strike.

After seven days, staff he said will again march to the ECG head office and the Ministry of Finance to picket in demand for their money.

This development comes weeks after the government’s termination of the PDS concession agreement, forcing the ECG to assume full control of electricity distribution business in the southern part of Ghana which was hitherto being handled by PDS.

Whiles ECG is said to be owing Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in the country huge sums of money although it occasionally receives money from the state to defray part of the debt.

In another related issue, IPPs which supplied about 1,500 megawatts of electricity have constantly threatened to shut down their plants if the government fails to settle debts owed them.

Interestingly, all this while, GRIDCo had complained that it is unable to expand its transmission lines due to huge debts owed it.

Story By: Ishmael Barfi senghana@gmail.com/barfi@thenewindependentonline.com

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