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14.05.2007 General News

Energy crisis renders over 2,300 workers jobless

By myjoyonline
Thousand of Ghanaian workers have lost their jobs since the current energy crisis began in August 2006, according to statistics at the National Labour Department.

The statistics shows that from September 2006 to the first quarter of this year, March 31, 2006, a total of 33 companies filed for bankruptcy. As a result 2,333 workers lost their jobs.

A breakdown of the figures show that in the last quarter of last year- September to December 2006, 21 companies filed for insolvency with 1,798 workers asked to go home.

For the first quarter of this year, January to March 31, 2007, 12 applications for redundancy were recorded with some 535 workers losing their jobs.

Quite expectedly, the manufacturing sector, which heavily depends on electricity, tops the list with about 60% of all companies that declared bankruptcy within the period.

Sources at the NLD explained that these companies range from textile, pharmaceutical, mining, construction to hospitality industries.

According to the statistics, the textile sector is the worse hit , largely due to the influx of cheap textiles from Asia.

Just last week President Kufuor announced that Ghana was going into full partnership with China in textile production, a policy which has been derided by industry watchers due to its potential to kill the textile sector.

Some of the companies blamed their decision to fold up on inefficiency in the utility sector vis-à-vis the high cost of production and low levels of productivity. One labour officer blamed the situation on the free trade and economic policy being implemented by Ghana.

"Government must do everything possible to find a solution to the worsening energy situation to save jobs and prevent crime. Also as people come with goods from anywhere and sell them cheaply, local producers cannot sell theirs cheaply because if high production cost. They are therefore left with no other choice than to reduce their labour force or close down" said a top labor officer.

Source: Public Agenda