Textile Workers Dissatisfied With Utility Tarrif Reducton…Demands 20% More Reduction

The Textile, Garment and Leather Employees Union (TGLEU) say they are not satisfied with the 30 percent reduction in utility tariffs.

According to them, the reduction will not solve the numerous challenges facing their industry, hence they will still face challenges that may lead to an eventual collapse of the industry.

The union had earlier called for a 50 percent reduction in utility tariffs to save the textile industry from collapse.

They had also stated that over 90 percent of workers in the industry have been laid off—a situation they blame on high utility tariffs, high taxes, as well as smuggling and pirating of local textile designs.

In an interview with Citi Business News, General Secretary of the Textile, Garment and Leather Employees Union, Abraham Koomson demanded that, government should further reduce the tariff by 20 percent to save the textiles industry.

“Reducing this by 30%, I don’t think that is going to address the problems of the industry at all. We are talking about cost of production. The manufacturers cannot compete with products coming from outside and in China, as we have been saying. The government is so much involved,” he said.

He lamented that government has failed to put in the necessary measures to stop the influx of cheap textiles in the country.

He was of the view that, the only way local textiles producers can compete is to reduce utility tariff for the sector by 50 percent so they can reduce cost of production

“These goods come to Ghana and sell at very cheap prices making it impossible to compete. So if government wants to address the problems facing the industry, then they should not just pick one component and deal with it and think that it is going to reflect on their production cost, it is not going to work” he stressed.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), yesterday announced a general reduction in electricity tariffs effective March 15, 2018.

Residential customers per the new tariff cuts are to enjoy a 17.5% reduction, while non-residential customers will see tariffs cut by 30%.

Those in the mining sector have also been given a 10% tariff cut, and 25% cut for Special Load Tariff Customers (LV, MV & HV).

The Commission has however failed to reduce water tariffs.

The reduction comes on the back of government’s recommendation for a reduction in electricity tariffs to lighten the burden on Ghanaians with President Akufo-Addo subsequently announcing an average of 14% reduction in electricity tariffs for non-residential users in January this year.