Business News

Guarantee our Safety before we’ll resume work – ECG workers to Somanya residents

The Koforidua Circuit Court has for the second time denied bail application for 12 suspects who were arrested for vandalising the Somanya Police station and attacking officers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

The Public Utilities Workers Union (PUWU) advised the workers to abandon work in that part of the Greater Accra Region.

Richard Nyaba, the Deputy General Secretary of the Union told Joy News, PUWU has been meeting with the ECG officers and management in the area.

The Eastern regional office of ECG came under attack from residents angry over ‘outrageous’ utility bills last month.

Sticks, stones, broken glasses and dirtied walls tell the tale of a spontaneous attack on the Somanya building of the power distribution company which began at about 11 am on Friday, May 26.

This was after the protesters had waited for over an hour for a response from management over issues of over billing without getting any.

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Sizing up the intrusion and bracing for violence, the staff remain locked inside the building awaiting rescue from the police.

While the staff wait for help, the police also waited for reinforcements as 10 officers faced the throng in their hundreds.

Recounting the incident to, a resident Nakotey, explained that the crowd emerged impulsively after ECG embarked on an early morning mass disconnection exercise.

The disconnection exercise was to try and compel clients to settle mounting debts owed the company.

But it infuriated the community that has been complaining about ‘extremely outrageous’ billing system for close to a year.

Nakotey explained that some residents in compound houses who used to share GHC200 now have to share between GHC1,500 and GHC2,000.

He said some bills piled up to 7,500 in a community of small businesses, traders and farmers.

Considering the mass disconnection exercise as adding insult to injury, their tolerance level snapped triggering an uncoordinated march to the newly commissioned office.

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But after a lot of meetings and consultations, Mr Nyaba said, “yesterday, management called on us that the paramount chief and his elders, as well as the youth of the area, are pleading that we should resume work in Somanya.”

“But we are thinking that conditions are not right for our workers to return to work there. We met the workers and they still express some misgivings about what is happening at the place,” he told Joy News’ Evans Mensah on Newsnight programme Tuesday.

Mr Nyaba said they are still engaging the workers in talks to see how the Member of Parliament, paramount chiefs and the youth can improve conditions for the workers to get back to work.

“For now we have not resumed work…until we are assured of our safety,” he said.

Story by Ghana | | Abubakar Ibrahim