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19.01.2012 General News

Ho Council of Labour demands restoration of fuel subsidies

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Ho, Jan 18, GNA - The Ho Municipal Council of Labour has added its voice to the numerous calls on the Government to restore subsidies on petroleum products by the end of January this year.

Government removed the subsidies last December.
The Council took the decision at a well-attended emergency meeting in Ho on Wednesday.

The Council's decision was in conformity with that of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC), its apex body, which called a press-conference to demand a retraction of the policy of full recovery in fuel pricing.

The Ho Council of Labour meeting was part of simultaneous consultative forums of Councils of Labour across the country to mandate the GTUC to contend government on the issue.

Fuel prices went up between 15 and 30 percent as a result of the withdrawal of the subsidies.

Mr Edward Kareweh, Deputy General Secretary of the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), and Mr Joseph King Edu, General Secretary of the Railway Workers, were the GTUC Secretary-General's emissaries at the Ho meeting.

Mr Kareweh said the purpose of the subsidies was to ameliorate the effects of high prices of fuel on the poorly paid workers.

He said it was therefore inappropriate to wipe out the subsidies when salaries remained low.

Mr Kareweh said the policy would amount to lowering the already bad living standards of Ghanaian workers.

He expressed misgivings about the timing of the price hikes, when many people had travelled out of their stations on holidays.

Mr Edu wondered why government discounted counsel to apply the removal of subsidies gradually.

He said it was bad for government to announce the withdrawal without consulting labour and industry.

Contributors at the meeting expressed misgivings about the continued low salaries in the public sector, which is not commensurate with rising prices of goods and services.


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