Some members of organised labour are baying for the blood of the Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress whom they accuse of unilaterally calling off a planned demonstration to protest utility tariff increases.
The workers say Mr. Kofi Asamoah, without recourse to them, called off the 18 November planned nationwide demonstration to demand a reduction in electricity and water tariffs which were increased by 79 per cent and 52 per cent respectively last month.
Mr. Asamoah announced the decision to call off the strike following a government statement that it would absorb 25 percent of the electricity tariffs increases announced by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission.
But leaders of many of the major labour unions that jointly scheduled the strike and coordinated nationwide demonstrations now say they were not consulted before the planned demonstration was called off and are angry with the TUS Secretary General.
The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) is one of the unions opposed to the TUC’s decision. Its General Secretary Solomon Kotei says they were “peeved at the TUC’s unilateral decision.”
Mr. Kotie said the manner in which the announcement of the suspension of the demonstration was done was improper and unfortunate.
He said the leadership of ICU now has the arduous task to explain to its members the reason for the suspension of the planned action.
“Members of the ICU received the news with a lot of pain and shock because it is not easy to prep up people for action and if there is a good reason to redraw the action then slighting everybody; just go on air to announce. We don’t think this is proper.” he added.
The ICU General Secretary noted that the TUC should have ensured the 25 percent decrease is a reality before calling off the strike.
Solomon Kotie said given the action taken by Kofi Asamoah “we don’t know whether in future we might want to join hands with them in such a thing”.
The Ghana Medical Association has also expressed disappointment in the decision taken by TUC.
General Secretary of GMA, Frank Serebour who disclosed that they were also not consulted said the development is unfortunate.
“It was a decision taken by organized labour and I’m sure even if the TUC had gone to negotiate on behave of organized labour, it would have been prudent for them to come back for us to discuss it and decide whether we are accepting the 25 percent reduction or not” he stated.
Meanwhile, labour consultant, Senyo Adjabeng said he is not surprised about the division on the labour front because it is not structured.
This notwithstanding, he said the leaders of various labour unions must settle the issue for a united front.