Workers of the Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL) have called on President Nana Akufo-Addo to honour his promise of improving their working conditions and standard of living.
During a National Executive Council meeting at Essikado in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, General Secretary of the Railway Workers’ Union, Godwill Ntarmah, said the salary condition of workers keep worsening, despite a promise the President made.
“The President said he was going to address it. But, regrettably, the situation has not changed but getting worse, and we plead that the issue should be addressed,” he pleaded.
He also called for a review of the Railway Act, Act 779, which he says has served its purpose after more than a decade.
According to him, the Act was put in place to regulate the railway sector when plans were in place to revamp the industry, saying there is a dying need for an agency to take care of the assets and liabilities of the company.
“As we speak, the Railway Company does own any asset, and this is a great worry; hence, the need for a review of the Act,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, the workers have assured the government of their unflinching support to policies and initiatives that will ensure the sustenance of the railway sector.
“We promise to work together to realize the government’s dream for the railway company and the railway sector as a whole,” they indicated.
Construction of Western rail line
The Railways Development Minister, John Peter Amewu, in an address read on his behalf, noted that the construction of the Western Rail line has progressed significantly.
He said the line, which consists of a 22-kilometre standard gauge from Kojokrom to Manso, is about 75% completed.
The development of the new standard gauge western rail line is expected to continue this year from Manso to Huni Valley under a €500 credit facility secured by the government.
The project would include converting the dual gauge tracks between Takoradi and Kojokrom from narrow gauge to standard gauge.
“It would also include constructing a new standard gauge rail line from the Takoradi station to the Takoradi Port.”
The Acting Managing Director of the Ghana Railway Company, Lord Laud Quansah, reiterated government’s desire to revamp the railway sector.
“The management of the GRCL has adopted a more open and ready to learn approach in which the ideas and solutions are put together for discussions to ensure suitable working environment.”