September 18, 1961 -Railway Strike against austerity budget continues after Nkrumah returns from USSR

On Sept. 14 a dusk-to-dawn curfew was imposed in Sekondi-Takoradi to “facilitate the operation of essential services” and “prevent further intimidation and sabotage”; it was stated that a train which had left Takoradi in defiance of the strike had been derailed by saboteurs. Dr. Nkrumah returned to Accra on Sept. 16 from his holiday in the Soviet Union (after having been abroad for nine weeks); on the following day he announced that he had revoked the state of emergency, and called upon all strikers to return to work immediately. The President said that his decision entailed the immediate withdrawal of all measures taken under the emergency declaration, including arming of the police; the ending of the curfew in Sekondi-Takoradi; and the release of all persons arrested for infringement of the emergency regulations or any other activity connected with the strike. He called upon all those on strike to return to work “forthwith,” declaring that “by 7.30 a.m. on Sept. 19 there should be a full resumption of work throughout the country.”

Despite the President's appeal, a protest strike involving 3,000 workers in the petrol and motor industry occurred in Accra on Sept. 18, while the Takoradi strikers ignored the Sept. 19 deadline laid down by Dr. Nkrumah; their leaders insisted that the Government should make a full statement on its financial policy before they ended the strike, and appealed for financial support from dock and railway unions in Britain, the U.S.A., Liberia, and Nigeria. The Ghana T.U.C, on the other hand, issued a statement again condemning the strike, asserting that it was “a political manoeuvre to undermine constitutional authority,” and reiterating the charges against “foreign elements in alliance with certain subversive individuals and groups,” and “some” foreign companies.