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GRIDCo staff withdraw emergency services over GHS1.2bn debt

The Senior Staff and the Divisional Union of Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) has asked staff of the organization to withdraw all emergency services to push the government to settle debt owed the company by ECG, VALCO, PDS and NEDCO.

The union says ECG and NEDCo owes about GHS607 million and GHS177 million respectively while VALCO and PDS owe over US$32 million and GHS94 million respectively.

Addressing the press in Accra, President of the Senior Staff and the Divisional Union of GRIDCo, Raphael Kornor said the company’s staff will embark on a sit-down strike if their concerns are not addressed by December 4, 2019.

“We are going to withdraw all emergency services. We are going to treat all emergency services within the normal working hours. In times past GRIDCo staff will be sleeping, they will call you and you will have to wake up. Ladies and Gentlemen we cannot do that again because our efforts are becoming effortless.”

“From Friday 22nd November 2019, staff will treat all emergency work as normal work within the normal working hours. From Friday 29th November 2019, staff are going to march to ECG office and picket in demand for our money. If by the close of work, Wednesday, December 4, 2019 all these things are not paid, we will declare a sit-down strike.”

After seven days, staff will march to the ECG head office and the Ministry of Finance to picket in demand for their money.

Raphael Kornor said: “We would be embarking on the action if these debts are not paid.”

This development comes weeks after the government’s termination of the PDS concession agreement, forcing the ECG to assume full control of electricity distribution business in the southern part of Ghana which was hitherto being handled by PDS.

ECG  is said to be owing Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in the country huge sums of money although it occasionally receives money from the state to defray part of the debt.

The IPPs which supplied about 1,500 megawatts of electricity have constantly threatened to shut down their plants if the government fails to settle debts owed them.

GRIDCo had complained that it is unable to expand its transmission lines due to huge debts owed it.

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