06.03.2008 Business & Finance

Ghana Railways Loses $630,000

By Daily Guide
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MANAGING Director of the Ghana Railways Company Ltd (GRC), Rufus Okai Quaye has disclosed that the strike action by workers of his outfit is making the company lose $30,000 per day.

Thus, the company has lost $630,000 since the workers laid down their tools about three weeks ago to demand the payment of salary arrears, and 150 percent increase in salaries.

The Managing Director in an interview said the company's expenditure alone has hit a record high of GH¢400,000 a month.

He said this expenditure by the GRC goes into the payment of employees' social security fund and other emoluments of the workers.

Mr. Quaye disclosed that currently the company spends GH¢300,000 on fuel per month, adding that “all these expenses was making the company run at a loss.

“The strike action by the workers is making things worse,” he added.

Touching on the payment of salary arrears of the workers, Mr. Quaye revealed that the sector ministry had sourced a funding of $600,000 from various sources to pay the arrears of the workers.

To ensure that the GRC remain in business, the MD said another rationalization of workers would be done, as the current workforce of 2,420 is inflating the expenditure of the GRC.

The Managing Director disclosed that apart from the carriage of bauxite, manganese, the carriage of cocoa is also being secured from the Ghana Cocobod and this could increase the purse of the company.

The Nyinahin Ore Production at Takoradi, according to the Managing Director, would increase the company's income as they would be the sole carriers of the ore to the production site in Takoradi.

He hinted that the company is also looking for funds to pay off workers who would be affected by the proposed rationalization exercise.

To ensure viability of the company, the Ministry of Harbours and Railways has secured a fund of $40 million from the sale of government bond to embark on the rehabilitation of the existing rail lines.

Meanwhile, the sector minister, Prof. Ameyaw Akumfi has successfully met with the striking workers and the management at a meeting brokered by the National Labour Commission.

In a statement signed by Ahmed Ayuba, Special Assistant to the minister, it came out that some of the grievances of the workers need to be negotiated before being resolved.

The meeting, as revealed by the statement had offered an opportunity to Prof. Akumfi to avail himself of the challenges facing the GRC and also told the commission about the ministry's readiness to pay all their outstanding arrears, since January this year.

From Simmons Yussif Kewura, Tema

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