Debt exchange: Touch our pensions and we’ll strike – CLOGSAG warns

The Civil and Local Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) has joined calls by Labour unions urging the government to exempt their pensions from the debt exchange programme.

The domestic debt exchange programme announced by the government requires institutional holders of the eligible bonds to agree in writing to the Central Securities Depository (CSD) to exchange their current holdings for new ones.

However, several Labour Unions including the Trades Union Congress have opposed the move, with concerns that if the pensions of their members are affected it will be detrimental to their future.

At a press conference, Executive Secretary for CLOGSAG, Dr Isaac Bampoe Addo said rather than targeting the pensions of Ghanaians, the government must cut down its expenditure to save the ailing economy.

“CLOGSAG is serving notice on the National Labour Commission, that should government default in honouring any of the coupons when due for the schemes it will declare an indefinite nationwide strike.”

The Director of Business Operations at Dalex Finance, Joe Jackson, has urged institutional bondholders to accept the government’s debt exchange programme.

Mr Jackson said despite the painful cuts that the fund managers will have to endure on their bonds, not accepting the programme will be more chaotic and extremely punitive for them.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday, Joe Jackson said the option by the government to compel institutional bondholders to accept the debt exchange is more reasonable than any other alternative.

“Between chaotic default and organised default, I will every time choose organised default. So as I sit here I have to choose this, [because] the alternative is utterly chaotic.”