Section of the agitating workers during the sit-down strike
GOVERNING BOARD of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has strongly condemned a recent strike action by some staff of the commission.
It would be recalled that workers of the commission on Thursday, September 7, abandoned their work and converged on the premises of the PURC’s regional offices to demand the immediate removal of the Executive Secretary, Samuel Sarpong.
The agitating staff had alleged that Mr. Sarpong, with the backing of members of the board of PURC, had misappropriated the commission’s funds.
The workers also demanded the dissolution of the PURC board for what they termed as inhumane treatment of the staff as they alleged that a member of the board physically assaulted one of the workers.
But the governing board of the commission, in a statement issued by its chairman, Emmanuel Annan and other members, expressed regret at the action taken by the staff.
“These unruly activities by the union led by Alhaji Jabaru, culminated in locking up the head office and also other regional offices of PURC on Thursday, 7th September, 2017, for no verifiable and substantive reason, except to protest the purported return to office of the Director of Public Relations and External Affairs (D-PREA), Nana Yaa Akyempim Jantuah,” according to a statement issued by the board.
“For purposes of background, it is necessary to recall that in May 2017, the D-PREA, who has worked in the public service for a period of 26 years, tendered in her resignation to take effect November 15, 2017, while taking the opportunity to enjoy her accumulated leave. She has been on leave since May 2017,” it explained.
It emphasized that in July 2017, in anticipation of the impending departure of the D-PREA, a new manager, Public Relations and External Affairs, was recruited. It wondered if an employee who has tendered in her resignation to be effective on November 15, 2017 and currently on leave, should be debarred from visiting her place of work.
“Until November 15, 2017, is the D-PREA not a bona fide staff of PURC? Is the Union the employer of the D-PREA,” it queried.
The commission expressed concern about the attempt to derail the up-coming ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Conference, which Ghana will host in November and coordinated by the PURC.
“This conference could impact negatively on Ghana’s reputation if shoddily planned and poorly executed. Is this meeting reason enough for the unlawful and potentially criminal actions which disrupted work at a critical public service organization?” PURC wondered.
BY Melvin Tarlue