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Business News Tue, 11 May 2010

Managements of four companies appeal to President Mills for redress

Tema, May 11, GNA - Nana Kwadzo Arthur, Managing Director of Odart Stevedor Company, has appealed to President John Evans Atta Mills for assistance in the renewal of licences for four stevedoring companies that have been withdrawn by the management of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA).

The companies involved, Odart Stevedor, Dashwood, CTS and Fountain View Stevedor, have also been directed by GPHA to cease operations. A letter dated April 22, 2010 signed by Mr N.P. Galley, Director- General of GPHA, and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Monday, directed managements of the companies to disengage from the Tema Port by Sunday, May 30, 2010.

Nana Arthur, making the appeal in an interview with the GNA, said the companies had contributed to operations in the shipping industry and were surprised by the directive from GPHA that was likely to affect about 5,000 workers who had to be laid off due to the withdrawal of their licences. In a related development, workers unions from the affected companies on Monday jointly held a press conference to draw government's attention to the directive, and appealed to management of GHPA to reconsider its decision not to renew their operating licences.

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Wearing red arm-bands and bearing placards with various inscriptions amid chanting of war songs, the workers expressed displeasure over the directive from management of GPHA. Mr J.A. Beninya Abdul Hakeem, Spokesperson for the workers' Unions, expressed confidence in the government, saying "as a father for the nation President Mills should demonstrate the 'I care for you attitude' to intervene in the matter.

"The recent cancellation of the operating licences have affected and would continue to affect most of us because we do not even expect to be paid salaries for this month. The Minister of Transport and Director-General of GPHA should consider the amount of money the State would lose through the non-payment of income tax and SSNIT contributions as a result of this action," he said. Mr Hakeem appealed to government to handle the issue with a sense of urgency devoid of discrimination. 11 May 10

Source: GNA
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