Business News Tue, 23 Apr 2019
Aggrieved workers of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) are kicking against the implementation of the Tema Ports Expansion concession agreement by the Meridian Port Service (MPS).The implementation is scheduled for July this year.
Workers of the marine establishment wearing red t-shirts, red bands on their heads, hands and necks, are calling on the Akufo-Addo’s administration to take urgent steps to avert huge economic losses by reviewing the $1.5 billion contract between the government and the Meridian Port Services, operators of the main container terminal at the Tema Port.
They have further threatened to intensify their action if there was no sign of reviewing the deal within the week.
Chairman of the Senior Staff Union of GPHA, John Richmond Aseeph, in an interview with DGN Online, noted that “in fact we have declared this week as GPHA goes red to mourn the future of GPHA. We expect every worker to be in red attire.”
According to him, the future of workers of GPHA was uncertain because of the move to implement the agreement this year.
“What we seek to achieve is alert Management and everyone who have seen this MPS concession that this a bad, fraudulent, bogus and has to be reviewed and all we seek is to have the contract reviewed with immediate effect,” he says.
“It is only when the contract is reviewed that we the workers of the company will be happy and understand that our future is guaranteed but as it stands now, nothing has been done about it so, we seriously want the contract to be reviewed and that’s what we seek to do by wearing red to mean that we are mourning.”
With current the monopolistic rights of MPS, GPHA and other operators in the Tema Port such as terminal operators, Inland Container Depots (ICDs), Stevedoring companies and shore handling companies are to lose huge revenues that may lead to the collapse of many container-related businesses.
GPHA is likely to sack about 1,400 workers to make way for the deal, thereby causing the Authority to lose millions of dollars in revenue in addition to over $800 million granted to MPS in tax concessions.
Over 3, 000 workers at the various ICDs, Stevedoring companies and shore handling companies are to also lose their jobs after the implementation of the deal.
Former John Dramani Mahama’s administration signed the Tema expansion contract with MPS in 2015 under which MPS is supposed to Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) the facility after 35 years.
The expansion works began in October 2016, and the first container berth is expected to be opened July.