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Railway Workers Union threatens strike over ‘neglect’ of Railway Company

The Railway Workers Union has threatened to strike from August 22 because of concerns with the management of the Ghana Railway Company.

“We have arrived at this decision because GRCL [Ghana Railway Company] feels neglected, and the centre can no longer hold,” it said in a statement.

The union’s contentions have been with the growing influence of the Ghana Railways Development Authority in the affairs of the company.

The union has been critical of the Railway Act, Act 779 which it says transfers the under the care of Ghana Railway Company to the Ghana Railways Development Authority.

“Series of appeals for this Act, to be reviewed since GRCL continues to be a going concern, has so far not yielded
the desired results,” it said in the statement.

Because of this, it said the Ghana Railways Development Authority “has taken undue advantage of this Act and are perpetrating acts that are detrimental to the survival of GRCL.”

Among the issues the union cited are the loading of three truck-loads of scraps of rails in the Ashanti Region for sale, the recent directive to take over some Bungalows at Kumasi by 31st August 2022 and the denial of the company from collecting rents on the operators who are on railway lands.

On the scrap issue, the union also noted attempted to load and dispose of scraps of rails and sleepers at Kumasi railway station on 9th August 2022 “something the railway workers at Kumasi fiercely resisted, and it’s hanging currently.”

Because of a directive from the Minister for Railways Development for all scraps to be collated, and a Public Auction made to dispose of it, it questioned: “why the piecemeal approach for its disposal and sale.”

“It must be noted that in all these arrangements, the interest of the GRCL is not considered,” the statement added.

The union felt the company could have taken advantage of the sale of scraps and collecting of rents to support its operations.

It warned that if the Ministry of Railways Development does not call authority to order “the two passenger services which are Accra to Tema and Takoradi to Kojokrom will from Monday 22nd August 2022 seize running as
“we can no longer borrow money to support such operations.”

Find below the full statement
UNFAIR TREATMENT OF GHANA RAILWAY COMPANY LIMITED(GRCL) BY GHANA RAILWAY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY(GRDA)

The Railway Workers Union has over the years complained about the Railway Act, Act 779 which among other things transfers the Assets hitherto under the care of GRCL to GRDA. Series of appeals for this Act, to be reviewed, since GRCL continues to be a going concern has so far not yielded the desired results.

The GRDA as a result has taken undue advantage of this Act and are perpetrating acts that are detrimental to the survival of GRCL.

We state below some of the actions that are against the GRCL:

(1) Supervising and loading of three (3) trucks load of scraps of rails and sleepers at Kase in the Ashanti Region for sale.

(2) A recent directive to take over some Bungalows at Kumasi by 31st August, 2022 in spite of the fact that officials of GRCL and their families occupy such Bungalows.

(3) Denying the GRCL from collecting rents on the operators who are on railway lands as previously being done by GRCL.

(4) Attempting to load and dispose of scraps of rails and sleepers at Kumasi railway station on 9th August, 2022 something the railway workers at Kumasi fiercely resisted and it’s hanging currently.

We are very much aware of a directive from the Hon. Minister for Railways Development for all scraps to be collated and a Public Auction made to dispose of it, so why the piece meal approach for its disposal and sale.
It must be noted that in all these arrangements, the interest of the GRCL is not considered.

Currently, the GRCL is heavily indebted to a number of institutions as it sometimes borrows from the Banks and its major client the Ghana Manganese Company to effect payment of salaries and purchase of fuel etc. Moreso, payment for June and July Salaries were paid just today 11th August, 2022.

Adding to the above, the GRCL is operating the shuttle service from Accra to Tema and Kojokrom to Takoradi at a loss as those services are considered more of a social service than a commercial venture without any support from any angle to even purchase fuel for such operations.

The GRCL could have taken advantage from the sale of scraps and collecting of rents etc. to support its operations, if the Assets were to be in its care.

In view of the foregoing, the leadership of the Union is left with no option than to say enough is enough and thereby will be acting soon as follows:

  1. If the Ministry of Railways Development does not call GRDA to order and ensure an amicable solution to the challenges enumerated above which the Ministry is already aware of, as well as other challenges, the two (2) passenger services (ie) ACCRA TO TEMA and TAKORADI TO KOJOKROM will from Monday 22nd August, 2022 seize running as we can no longer borrow money to support such operations.

We have arrived at this decision because GRCL feels neglected and the Centre can no longer hold.
Thank you.

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