GRIDCO staff stage protest, march to finance ministry over ECG, VALCO debt

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Clad in red attires and wielding placards, workers of the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCO) hit the streets of Accra Tuesday to protest the debt situation of the power transmitter.

Drawn from their branches across the country the workers converged at the Black Star Square to begin the protest march to the Finance Minsitry for urgent intervention.

They are also expected to march to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Volta Aluminum Company (VALCO) in demand of their unsettled debts.

The aggrieved workers, who began an industrial action by withdrawing all emergency services on Thursday, 21 November 2019, have been directed by the leadership of their union not to provide any further services beyond the official working hours.

Addressing the protesters, President of the GRIDCo Staff Union, Raphael Kornor, said the march will lead to a declaration of a sit-down strike if their concerns are not addressed, immediately.

“The first Energy Sector Levy Act bond which was raised by this present government in 2017/2018, our sister company, the VRA had over $550 million to settle their indebtedness with the banks but not a dime was given to GRIDCo to offset the ECG and VALCO indebtedness to us,” Mr Kornor lamented.

GRIDCO leadership has been pushing for millions of debts owed it by ECG, the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) and the Volta Aluminum Company (VALCo) to be settled.

The company says as of March 1, 2019, ECG’s outstanding debt to GRIDCo stood at GH¢607 million and another GH¢94,204,903.17 while VALCO owed it GH¢32,567,974.05 and NEDCo’s debt stood at GH¢177 million as at September 30, 2019.

The Minority in Parliament however said it will summon the Finance and the Energy Ministries over the development.

“The morale of staff is not sound because of frustrations. They will not be able to out their bests to ensure the lights are on and therefore President Nana Akufo-Addo should not take us back to dumsor… He should resolve all the challenges facing GRIDCo, extended to ECG and NEDCo with immediate effect”, said Adam Mutawakilu, ranking member of Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee in an interview.

By J. Ofori, Daily Mail GH

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