Tariff increment not acceptable at this time – TUC
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) says the utility tariff increment announced by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) is unacceptable at this time of high inflation in the country.
“We told PURC and the utility service providers that in this day and time that inflation is on the high side, where the economic situation is unbearable for workers in this country, we think that any decision of any increment in utilities should have been suspended.
“We told them our piece of mind, but I think that they did not bother and have gone ahead to increase utilities,” Mr Joshua Ansah, the Deputy Secretary General of the TUC, said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Bolgatanga.
He said the increment would put pressure on members of the TUC, noting that, “this is the time we are also negotiating the minimum wage and the base pay, so you can imagine what is going to happen. At the moment, workers cannot bear the economic hardship in this country.
“As a union, we think that is unacceptable. We will also do our best to get a salary increase that does not fall below any of the increases announced by the government. We are ready to do that.”
“If Government has gone ahead to increase utilities, fuel prices and anything that it wants when we also get to the negotiation table, that is where we will also base all our might on,” the Deputy Secretary General said.
He said once the announcement for increment was made, there was nothing TUC could do but emphasized that “We will also marshal all forces and ensure that we get salary increases that will march increases announced by the utility service providers.”
He said the increment was not business friendly as indicated by the PURC and described it as “killer increases” announced to workers of the country and reiterated that workers would not accept salary increments below those increases.
Mr Ansah said the TUC earlier announced that it would not accept anything below the inflation figure even before the Cost-of-Living Allowance (CoLA) became an issue, and further emphasised that the TUC would not accept anything below the inflation rate.
He explained that “We accepted the 15 per cent because there is a hurdle ahead of us, that is the base pay, and the minimum wage for 2023, but they have worsened the situation. Even currently, workers are suffering. We have sacrificed for far too long.”
The Deputy Secretary General called on workers to be patient and have trust in the leadership of the TUC, and rally behind them to fight a good course for the ordinary Ghanaian worker.