Unionised staff of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), say they will petition the National Media Commission (NMC) today, Monday, July 20, 2020, to intervene over plans by the government to cede three of its channels.
Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, in a letter dated June 29th 2020, directed the Director-General of GBC to reduce the Corporation’s channels on Ghana’s Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) platform from six to three within 60 days.
The Union last Friday held a durbar to protest the move, saying it will render some workers jobless.
Speaking to Citi News, the Vice Chairman of the Union Mark Agodoa, said the NMC must intervene.
“Yes, we will petition. We will send a petition to the NMC because we want the NMC to intervene. It is their constitutional mandate to do that. We just want them to talk or maybe negotiate because the workers are resolute with their decision. Whatever the case is, there is a room for dialogue.”
The GBC staff have already served notice they will challenge moves to reduce the state broadcaster’s channels.
According to them, the decision could lead to the collapse of the company.
Secretary of the GBC Union, Nutor Bibinii had told Citi News the workers will continually protest the government’s decision until the Minister of Communication rescinds the decision.
“We are humbly advising her [Minister of Communications]. She can take ten channels to herself but what belongs to the state, no political activist can come for it. If previous Ministers of Communication were taking one each, how many would have been left? We are saying no. It will not work and we shall challenge this decision at the peril of our lives”. he said.
Currently, GBC is said to be operating on the DSTV, GBC T1 and DTT transmission platforms.
TV users who have access to these platforms are able to watch all of GBC’s six channels on either platform.
GBC had already written to the NMC to express its dissatisfaction over the matter.
Information Ministry clarifies
The Minister of Information, Oppong Nkrumah, under whose Ministry the state broadcaster falls, had explained that the managers of the DTT platform want to reduce redundancy hence the directive to GBC.
The move has not sat well with some individuals and groups, including the Minority side in Parliament.
The Minority said the request from the Communications Ministry was unlawful.
In a bid to nullify the proposed move, the GBC has written to the National Media Commission (NMC) for urgent help.