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Kweku Baako: 25% Reduction Of Electricity Tariff By Gov’t Was To Avert Strike Threat By TUC   
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Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Kweku Baako Jr strongly believes government was forced to absorb 25% of electricity tariffs – reducing the increment from 78.9% to 59.18% - to avert the intended nationwide demonstration by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and organized labour.

According to him, the reduction of electricity tariff by 25 percent was simply a ploy be government to induce Organized Labour to call off the planned November 18th nationwide strike and demonstration by public workers.

“It’s obvious the pressure campaigned by TUC on government has gained some effect. They (TUC) even withdrew its representation from the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC). All these were pressure tactics to reduce the tariffs. They (TUC) were giving signals that if they are not heard, they will strike and it has paid off,” he said

Government announced a reduction in electricity tariff by 25 percent. Thus, consumers will now pay 59.18 percent as against the 78.9 per cent announced by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC). The reduction forms part of measures taken by government to cushion the effects of the utility tariff increases on consumers.

But speaking on PEACE FM’s KOKROKOO, Mr. Baako however doubts the reasons assigned by government for the reduction and insisted that it was just to foil organized labour’s intended strike.

“Government was categorical that it cannot subsidize (electricity tariff) any longer and they gave reasons. Some of us said that, the TUC wanted to negotiate with government when they gave a date (18 November) to strike. In negotiations, one side is hardly expected to win (win-win situation) and I suspect that is what has happened,” Kweku Baako noted.

Despite the reduction, the Senior Journalist was of the view that it will be a mark of naivety for one to assume it has brought closure to the matter.

“…I am not too sure that this is really a final solution to the challenge we are facing. It will be very unrealistic and naďve to think this (25% reduction) will solve the problem. To me, this was to take away the threat of nationwide strike and series of demonstrations. This might be a temporal relief. It was part and parcel to avert the strike and it’s obvious,” Kweku Baako said.

Source: King Edward Ambrose Washman Addo/ Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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