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Business News of Saturday, 11 May 2019

Source: classfmonline.com

Tema Port Expansion Project: Akufo-Addo invites workers over MPS deal

President Nana Akufo-Addo has invited the leadership of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the private firm behind the Tema Port Expansion Project, Meridian Port Services (MPS) to discuss some concerns raised by the port workers vis-à-vis expected layoffs.

Aggrieved workers of the GPHA went on a protest on 24 April 2019 against the implementation of the Tema Ports Expansion Concession Agreement by MPS.

The red-attired workers insisted that the government renegotiate the agreement to avert huge economic losses.

The General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, on May Day, reiterated the need for Mr Akufo-Addo to review the contract to save some 1,400 GPHA jobs, alone.

However, the CEO of MPS, Mr Mohammed Samara, refuted TUC’s claims and insisted that some 400,000 jobs will rather be created when the expansion project is completed and is fully operationalised.

Subsequently, the Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, noted in a letter dated 10 May 2019 that: “The President will like to meet the stakeholders to discuss the concerns and appreciate firsthand the issues the port workers’ unions, in particular, have with the said agreement”.

The meeting is scheduled for Monday, 13 May 2019 at the Jubilee House at 11:00 a.m.

The leaders of the Maritime and Dock Workers Union, and the chairmen of the Senior and Junior Staff Unions of the GPHA are expected to be in attendance.

Former President John Mahama launched the Port Expansion Project in 2016.

The project is a public-private partnership between the GPHA and MPS for an expansion of Ghana’s main seaport.

The port is expected to be the largest cargo port in West Africa, and one of the best in Africa, with a capacity of 3.5 million 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) per annum.

Due to the semi-automated nature of the new terminal, some manual jobs and offices are expected to be collapsed.

The Director-General of the GPHA, Michael Luguje, has confirmed that about 1,200 employees of Inland Container Depots (ICDs) would be laid off.