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13.10.2005 General News

Railway workers call off strike

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Accra, Oct. 13, GNA - Workers of the Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRC) have called off their strike action following a successful meeting held with the Minister of Harbours and Railway in Accra over their grievances.

A statement signed by Mr. Ahmed Ayuba, Special Assistant for the Minister, said the workers had, as part of their grievances, requested a salary increase and payment of all outstanding salary arrears by the management of the company.

The statement said the Minister, Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi convened the meting with the leadership of the GRC workers and management to address agitations by workers that had resulted in the strike action by workers in the past two days. It said Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi urged the workers to resume work as negotiations on other concerns continue. The statement said in accepting the request for salary increase by the workers, the Minister reminded the management and union of the GRC of the severe financial constraints facing the company and the extreme difficulty of accessing funds in the face of low revenue generated by the distressed company.

He asked workers to resume work as negotiations on other concerns continued.

The Minister added that the company lost about 318 million cedis daily due to the refusal of workers to haul manganese, bauxite, cocoa and timber during the strike action. The statement said the Minister informed the meeting of progress made so far t o get Ghana Cocoa Board to use the services of the GRC to haul cocoa.

It said Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi also informed them that the strike action by the workers was impeding efforts by the Ministry to convince government to provide sustainable support to the GRC. The statement said the salary increment would amount to an increase in the monthly wage bill of the ailing company by 680 million cedis. The wage bill of the company before the proposed increase was 5.6 billion cedis out which the company was able to foot only 65 per cent from internally generated funds.

The statement said Mr. Samuel Kokovena, Secretary General of the Railway Workers Union, expressed appreciation the union for the intervention of the Minister, which resulted in the amicable resolution.

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