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The General Council of the Ghana Trades Union Con­gress (TUC) has unanimously voted to embark on demonstrations and ultimately declare a strike to press home their demands for a re­duction in recently announced water and electricity tariffs.

Consequently, TUC will meet Or­ganised Labour, which comprises eight labours unions, tomorrow to communicate the decision of the over 80-member General Council of the TUC.

At the said meeting, Organised Labour will them fix the date for com­mencement of the actions and finalise plans for the demonstrations.

Reliable sources within TUC lead­ership told The Finder that the General Council met last Thursday and Friday, during which the decision was taken.

According to the sources, if after the, demonstrations the utility tariffs are not reduced, the eight labour unions will declare an indefinite strike to press home their demands.

Organised Labour has asked the Public Utilities Regulatory Commis­sion (PURC) to suspend the imple­mentation of any new tariff until there is some stability in the supply of power.

It further asked the PURC to re­duce the proposed increases in elec­tricity and water tariffs.

A statement jointly issued two weeks ago and signed by leaders of eight labour organisations also asked the PURC to compel the utility com­panies to reduce their technical and operational inefficiencies as the con­dition for tariff review.

New tariffs of 59.2% increase in electricity across board and 69.2% in­crease in water took effect Monday, December 14, 2015.

Organised Labour's statement said its position was that the PURC should have first considered the availability and reliability of power before a re­view of tariffs.

The statement, dated December 9, 2015, was jointly signed by the Secre­tary General of the Trades Union Con­gress (TUC), Mr Kofi Asamoah, and representatives of the Ghana Federa­tion of Labour (GFL), the Ghana Na­tional Association of Teachers (GNAT), the Industrial and Commer­cial Workers' Union (ICU), the Na­tional Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Ghana Med­ical Association (GMA), the Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana 1 (JUSAG), and the Coalition of Con­cerned Teachers (CCT).

The statement said Ghanaian con­sumers were already paying heavily for the depreciation of the Ghana cedi and high inflation, and indicated that real wages had fallen drastically, espe­cially since 2012.

It said Organised Labour had been following the debate and discussions in the media since the announcement of the newly approved tariffs.

"The people of Ghana are still doubting whether these tariff increases are going to solve the 'dumsor' as the utility providers would like us to be­lieve," Organised Labour queried.

The statement said following Or­ganised Labour's consultations with the PURC, it did not expect any in­crease in tariffs beyond 50% on con­dition that power supply would have stabilised.

Source: The Finder

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