November 6, 2013

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy is asking members of the Trades Union Congress to stop behaving like spoilt children and get back to the negotiating table.

Dr Kwabena Donkor says the conduct by the TUC in the utility price hike controversy is unfortunate.

“I think they have been on the board of the PURC since the Act was promulgated.

“It is also an admission that they were not able to convince their colleagues on the board including AGI.

“It is just like being unable to make your case or playing football when we were children and you are not winning and therefore you say ‘magye me ball [ I have taken my ball]. I think TUC is better than that” Dr Donkor told Joy News’ Elton John Brobbey.

The comments come in the wake of the decision by TUC to embark on demonstration, strikes as well as the latest decision to suspend its membership of the PURC board: all in protest over the hikes in utility prices.

Dr Donkor was even more disappointed with the TUC for failing to attend a meeting organised by the PURC to dialogue on the controversial hikes.

“On one hand you are calling for engagement or dialogue, on the other hand you are absenting yourself from planned meetings. TUC is a trades union primarily. In this particular position it is a pressure group. Its secondary function. And i think as a pressure group they should be careful not to be seen as holding the country to ransom.”

“TUC must get back and engage. A temporary walk out [on PURC] is not strategic,” he advised.

But TUC has hit back.

The Secretary General of TUC Kofi Asamoah told Joy News the comments from Dr Kwabena Donkor were “misinformed.”

He said TUC has never shy away from dialogue in spite of the road map they issued in respect of the strikes and demonstrations.

He explained TUC was unable to attend the PURC meeting because it coincided with a scheduled meeting at the Presidency.

A letter intercepted by Joy News confirmed the letter written by the TUC to PURC explaining the reasons why they could not attend the meeting.

“It was not deliberate. We have nothing to hide from the PURC. We are more prepared to talk to them because we have a lot of questions to raise with them. And we will never at anytime run away from them.

“The minister was not properly informed and his comments were extremely unfortunate,” he added.

He confirmed the PURC meeting has now been rescheduled for next week Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the National Council of Polytechnic Administrators has called on its members to join the demonstration and strike being organised by TUC to protest the hikes in utility prices.

The national president Yaw Kosoe told Luv News after a National Council meeting that the tariff hikes are unacceptable.

He further asked the PURC to, immediately reduce the hikes in utilities.