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Thursday, July 29, 2010

John Tia 'smells politics' in ICU demo

The demonstrators as they filed through some streets in Accra on Thursday
The demonstrators as they filed through some streets in Accra on Thursday

Information Minister, John Tia, says a planned demonstration by members of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), over utility tariffs has political undertones.

He told Joy FM’s Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah the planned demonstration is unwarranted and calculated at making the government unpopular.

“We think they have political motives,” he said, adding that the ICU has deliberately turned deaf ears to all overtures by the government to get all stakeholders in the matter to discuss the way out.

He explained that the demonstration is unnecessary given that Vice President John Mahama has made strenuous efforts to reach an amicable settlement.

The Information Minister implored members of the ICU to suspend their demonstration because the government is already dealing with the issues and the concerns head-on.

But in reaction, the General Secretary of the ICU, Gilbert Awinongya said the comments by the information minister is “unfortunate.”

He said the ICU needs no politician to remind them how dire their situation has become.

According to him, lots of companies are folding up; their members are losing their jobs because the companies are unable to meet the increasing cost of production due to the high utility tariffs.

He also accused the government of treating the ICU with contempt, explaining that the government had failed to even acknowledge receipt of letters informing it of its intention to embark on a demonstration.

He said the government must “suspend the tariffs, reverse it to the status-quo and engage the stakeholders.”

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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