A labour analyst, Kofi Davor, has chided the workers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) for their recent calls for the payment of severance packages to them.
The Public Utilities Workers Union (PUWU) picketed at the premises of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), on Wednesday, demanding that redundancy payments be made to ECG staff ahead of the privatization of the company, under the US’ Millennium Power Compact II programme.
[contextly_sidebar id=”H1K7LiYkap4svXpwhVNSrf2a6szQAY5t”]Responding to the protests, the Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko said that the workers who want their severance packages would be paid, but would have to leave the company.
He added that, these workers would not be guaranteed a place at the new company once ECG’s privatization is complete.
“…If you decide to leave ECG, then you will be paid your severance, but you should not have the expectation or guarantee that the new company will take you on. You have made a decision to sever your relations with ECG, and it should not put you in a faithful expectation that going forward you have a job with the new company. So it is opened, all the ECG workers who want to leave and not join the new company are at liberty to do so and their severance so arranged,” Boakye Agyarko said.
But speaking on Eyewitness News on Wednesday, Kofi Davor backed the Energy Minister’s position, suggesting that the workers’ actions were premature.
He explained that the workers were only entitled to severance packages if the new company offered terms that were worse than what they were currently enjoying.
He, however added that, there was a chance the new company could retain the current terms of their contracts or even offer them improved terms.
He further explained the laws which governs the payment of severance package, stating that “The law states that in event of a worker becoming worse off as a result of a restructuring, like what is going on in ECG, you pay him, you negotiate a severance package with him or her, and pay him same, and based upon that his contract is terminated, you cannot take severance package and remain in the organization. Unless the employer chooses to gives you an appointment”.
“If there is a merger or a takeover or restructuring just like what we have, and the conditions of employment are made worse off as a result, then the worker would be entitled to a payment of severance package,” he added.
By: Ann-Shirley Ziwu/citifmonline.com/Ghana