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TUC gives ultimatum to PURC to reduce tariffs

By GNA

Members of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) say they would have no choice than to hit the streets to demonstrate against the new tariff increases announced by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) if the commission fails to reach an agreement with the Union by July 13.

Mr Togbe Adom Drayi, Head of Organisational Department of the TUC, announced this at a meeting with members of the Wa District Council of Labour at Wa in the Upper West Region.

He said the purpose of the meeting was to update the workers in the region on the current state of affairs between TUC and the PURC regarding the recent increases in utility tariffs.

He stated that the TUC had made it possible for all the professional bodies to come under one umbrella to bring about unity and boost their negotiation power.

Mr Togbe Adom Drayi said PURC had therefore been given up to July 13, to reach a mutual agreement with TUC, stressing that failure on the part of PURC to do so would force TUC to go onto the streets to demonstrate.

He pointed out that the 10 per cent increment in salaries announced by government in January this year would be implemented by the end of July while payment of the arrears would be done in August and September.

Mr Abu Kuntullo, General Secretary of the Health Services Workers Union, reiterated that the TUC was not against utility tariff adjustment but that what it was asking for was fairness and equity in determining any tariff increases.

According to him, the current figures announced by the PURC were not realistic and would make life unbearable for ordinary Ghanaians.

He said the PURC had failed to effectively play its function as the body responsible for regulating utility usage and as a result was looking for a means to transfer its inefficiencies on to the public.

Mr Kuntullo further indicated that activities of illegal power tappers and the intermittent power cuts should rather be the concern of PURC and not tariff increases.

"TUC is therefore asking for an improvement in service delivery before increment", he emphasized.

He noted that TUC as a matter of urgency was calling for a round table discussion involving all stakeholders to find out how the increment should be done and at what percentage margin.