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Business News of Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Source: EOP

MDU, TUC echo displeasure of GPHA-MPS contract

Trades Union Congress of Ghana on behalf of the Maritime and Dock workers Union of Ghana in general and in particular, workers of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has issued a heavily conspicuous about the GPHA-MPS contract.

Since Tuesday 23rd April 2019 the TUC has supported the Maritime and Dockworkers Union (MDU) and other Unionized workers of the Port community to clad in an all-red outfit within the Port Community to drum home their concerns of what they described as government’s delay in reviewing a contract between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and Meridian Port Services (MPS).

The unionized group stuck to their intentions and joined the national May Day parade all dressed in red outfit for the Labor Day match to demonstrate and drum home their concerns to the President of the republic to consider requesting or persuading MPS to agree to an amendment of the contract that will allow GPHA earn what they believe will be a fair part of their quid pro quo or benefit just as in their view, MPS will be enjoying.

In his inaugural Workers Day address to the nation and to the President of the Republic, the General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, Dr. Anthony Baah, took the opportunity to appeal to the Presidency of the Republic to accelerate efforts in reviewing the GPHA-MPS’ port expansion concession agreement, and seek for the necessary amendments to be made in order to guarantee the interest of the Ghanaian worker in the Port and Maritime industry since that is one of the few thriving areas available to the Ghanaian worker.

“Mr. President if the contract is not reviewed and MPS commences operations in June Ghana will surely lose millions of dollars in revenue in addition to over $800 million granted to MPS tax concession as part of this deal. We want to appeal to you to intervene as a matter of urgency, to ensure that the contract between Ghana Government and MPS is reviewed,” he appealed.

The General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, Dr. Anthony Baah, said aside the probable loss of about 1400 jobs of GPHA workers, the country is being baited to lose huge sums of annual revenue due to the monopolistic opportunities given to the private port operator, Meridian Port Services.

“When the new terminal commences operations in June, with the monopolistic rights given to MPS, GPHA and other operators at the port are going to lose huge revenues that would lead to the collapse of many container-related businesses which would translate into massive job losses in the maritime industry. GPHA may declare over 1400 workers redundant in 2019 alone,” he added.

Addressing the labor groups, however, the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assured that, the creation of jobs generally is at the very top of his government’s agenda and a lot of progress is being made in improving job opportunities.

“We know the areas with sustainable job creation and we need well trained technicians to build our country. We are making realistic and effective efforts to make sure that we produce and generate work and pension,” the President of Ghana stated.

The unionized group clad in red, continued to demonstrate their displeasure by marching through some principal streets of Accra wielding placards with various inscriptions.

The GPHA staff union in particular expressed faith and optimism that the President and his ministers will intervene in the matter to salvage the situation before a serious unemployment crises and shortage of revenue hits one of the nation’s most vibrant industry which is the Port sector.