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29.03.2005 Business & Finance

Labour Meets Govt Over Fuel Price Hikes

By Joy

Labour organizations in the country, led by the TUC, are meeting the Energy and Employment Ministers to present their concerns about the impact of the 50 per cent hike in petroleum prices.

It is the first meeting after the fuel price hike and the 20.5 increment in the national minimum wage.

The Civil Servants Association, the Ghana Registered Nurses Association, the Ghana Federation of Labour and the Ghana National Association of Teachers will all take part in the meeting which is expected to clearly state the high cost of living triggered by the price hikes.

A source at the TUC told Joy News that the labour union is particularly concerned about the high tax build-up in the new petroleum prices.

A Labour Consultant Austin Gamey says the labour union must be commended for choosing dialogue to resolve its concerns.

“ I think that is one thing that the TUC did that have to applaud them, we don't need the country to run down. The best chance for government is for the TUC to unilaterally do anything on their own and they have chosen the path for dialogue for the opportunity to discuss the concerns that their members had raised…” he said.

The TUC took some flak during the Wahala demonstrations when protesters hurled insults at the headquarters demanding why they had refused to join them.

So far government officials have ruled out any adjustments in the prices despite persistent calls to do so from opposition parties protesting the increase.

Mr. Gamey is confident that the influence of the labour union could compel government to reevaluate its stance.

“ Organised labour led by the TUC represents the understanding and the total conscience of the working people in the country and therefore it is always appropriate that when they are under severe pressure, they would have to contract other social partners to discuss issues of concern to both parties…” he said.

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