Home » ICU-Ghana Halts Strike Over VAT on Electricity Suspension

ICU-Ghana Halts Strike Over VAT on Electricity Suspension

Union Celebrates Pause in Action as Government Rethinks Tax amid IMF Talks

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

The Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU-Ghana) has announced the suspension of its planned industrial action initially set for February 13, 2024. This decision aligns with organised Labour’s response to the government’s move to put a hold on the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) on electricity, as part of its negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

During a press briefing, ICU-Ghana’s General Secretary, Morgan Ayawine, emphasized the suspension of the strike as a precautionary measure while the union remains vigilant. He heralded this development as a significant win not only for the union’s members but for all Ghanaians, expressing hope that the government’s decision to suspend the electricity tax would be indefinite. “We want to believe that it is a suspension in perpetuity. So our members should not feel that we have been defeated,” Ayawine stated.

The backdrop to this suspension was a meeting of Organised Labour on February 2, where a final decision was made regarding their ultimatum to the government concerning the controversial electricity tax set to expire in January 2024. The proposed tax had sparked widespread concern among Ghanaians, exacerbating financial strains across the nation.

In a bid to pressure the government into revoking the VAT on electricity, Organised Labour had initially urged workers to wear red to work starting Monday, February 5, as a symbol of their steadfast opposition to the tax.

The leadership of Organised Labour, including ICU-Ghana, continues to closely monitor the situation, ready to take necessary actions should the need arise. This turn of events underscores the power of collective bargaining and the impact of organised Labour’s advocacy on policy decisions.

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