Kofi Asamoah - TUC Boss

Kofi Asamoah ? TUC Boss

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has indicated its strongest resolve to meet the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) in court over its suspension from the board of the Commission.

Speaking to JOY NEWS on Tuesday, the TUC?s Secretary General, Kofi Asamoah noted; ?we will meet the PURC in court if they want to drag the TUC to court?.

According to him, the TUC has not withdrawn from the board yet but had rather suspended its sitting on the board, adding that the TUC could not continue to be part of the meetings of the Commission, whose decisions, membership of the TUC is against in terms of recent tariff increases by the PURC.

?We will want to stay back until workers? grievances in terms of tariff hikes are resolved,? he stressed.

The comments of the TUC boss followed the decision by the PURC to seek legal interpretation of the former?s resolve to withdraw its representative on the commission.

The TUC in a letter to the PURC said it could not continue to be part of the Commission, whose decisions it considers insensitive to the plight of Ghanaians.

Executive Secretary of the PURC, Samuel Sarpong told a news conference today that the Commission will have to explore the legal implications of the development.

?The PURC as a matter of urgency is going to seek legal interpretation on the matter of the TUC suspending its representation on the PURC board and also the implications for the work of the PURC?, he emphasized.

?The TUC have suspended their representation on the PURC board. Initiating this move is in response to high rates of utility tariff increases announced by the PURC and the negative effects of tariff increase on on workers of the country.?

The TUC futher stated that it will ?continue to boycott the PURC until our demand for reduction to affordable levels are met?, he told newsmen in Accra today.

Mr. Sarpong therefore described TUC?s refusal to attend meetings as ?deliberate and very calculative?, questioning how a settlement could be reached on the matter when stakeholders have entrenched positions and refuse to dialogue.

Section 2 of the PURC Act 1997 (ACT 538) states exactly what the position of the board is: ? the commission shall be composed by the following persons appointed by the President in consultation with the council of state? and in Sub-section B, it states that ?one person shall be nominated by TUC?.

Meanwhile, speaking to JOY NEWS, the Director of Public Affairs at the PURC, Nana Yaa Jantuah noted that implications of the TUC?s withdrawal from the PURC board has to be interpreted by legal expert  as the Commission will fall on the Attorney General for that duty.

She was resolute that the Commission will still go on with its work, noting that when it comes to setting tariffs, the TUC are still key stakeholders in such decisions.

She was of the view that the negotiations will continue as the TUC is compelled by law to nominate a member to the board of the commission.

In his view, acting Dean of GIMPA law school, Ernest Kofi Abotsi noted that the PURC, as a government agency, is entitled to seek interpretation of TUC?s withdrawal from the board, stressing that the court is an appropriate place to seek a compelling order.

He described TUC?s withdrawal from the commission?s board a ?violation of the statutory law? since they were mandated to be nominated on the Commission. Mr. Abotsi further asserted that since TUC is a major stakeholder in representing workers on the Commission, it was under obligation to join the board as its withdrawal from the board is a violation of the statutory law.

Source: Myjoyonline

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