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General News Fri, 29 May 2009

Two labour unions strike over membership

Tema, May 29, GNA- Two labour unions which undertake stevedoring work at the Tema Port on Thursday embarked on an industrial action over which of the two unions to join.

The Maritime and Dockworkers Union (MDU) and National Union of Harbour Employees (NUHE) locked in their leaders when information reached them that a referendum to be held to establish which of the unions to join was called off.

Tema Regional Deputy Commander of police, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Ransford Ninson said for sometime the workers had been agitating on which of the unions to join.

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As a result, Thursday May 28 was set for a referendum to be held to decide on their membership but it was called off. This, he said infuriated them and they locked in their leadership who were then in their offices, burnt lorry tyres to register their displeasure and staged a demonstration. ACP Ninson said the police had to use tear gas to disperse the workers numbering about 1,000.

A visit to their offices on Friday morning showed that the striking workers had gathered in groups deliberating on the next line of action but they would not talk to the press.

Their action brought stevedoring work in the port to a brief halt, however Mr Kwadwo Adansi Bonnah, General Manager in-charge of Administration at the Tema Port told the GNA on telephone that those willing to work were being escorted by the plice to do so.

Source: GNA
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