Government has rejected demands by ECG workers for a severance package as a new company takes over management of the utility firm.

Government says any such payment would only be made to workers who voluntarily decide to severe their relationship with ECG after the takeover.

The workers have this week been demanding fresh monies even before the new company assumes management of the firm.

Eastern Region Chair of the Public Utility Workers Union (PUWU) Abraham Lincoln says government has every right to continue any policy started by the previous government, including MiDA privatization of the Electricity Corporation but was quick to add that government must first pay them their severance package.

Quoting Section 65 subsection 2 of the Labour Act, he said if they are going to be put on secondment for the next 20 years under a new company, then they deserve a severance package with the old company which is ECG.

The takeover has come about as a result of the Millennium Challenge Power Compact agreement program, signed between the government of Ghana and the government of the US.

Boakye Agyarko

As part of the agreement, Ghana will receive a US$469,300,000 with a new management.

Even before a new management takes over, the workers of ECG have changed their strategy from their hitherto, vehement resistance of the privatization of the company to a demand of a severance package.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko said severance package will only be paid to workers who voluntarily resign from the company.

“…If you decide to leave ECG then you will be paid the 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 relationship with the 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 open. 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, but it is not going to be a collective bargaining situation where all the 6,500 workers of ECG are paid a severance and then transferred to new company,” he explained.

But Abraham Lincoln insists the workers’ demands are just and they will pursue same.