By Laudia Sawer
Tema, April 23, GNA - Staff of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) on Tuesday started a week long red attire protest against some unfavourable clauses in the Authority’s port expansion agreement with Meridian Ports and Services (MPS).
The staff are to wear red attires for a week to drum home their displeasure at the MPS concession which the Ghana News Agency learnt would lead to loss of about 4,000 direct and 1,500 indirect jobs.
The actions, the GNA gathered, was sanctioned by the various workers’ unions of the GPHA as they feared their members would lose their jobs just as MPS was preparing to start full operation of the first phase of the project in June, 2019.
The MPS had already received a large number of gantry cranes with the last 27 coming into the country on February 1, 2019 ahead of unit testing and commissioning and subsequent take off.
Meanwhile, the Tema District Council of Labour (TDCL) on April 2 appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo to urgently review some unfavourable clauses in the port expansion agreement between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Meridian Ports and Services (MPS).
The TDCL said it had given the government two-weeks to look into the report of the committee formed by Vice President Dr Mahamadu Bawumia and headed by Mr Daniel Titus Glover, Deputy Minister of Roads, on the issue after which it would initiate series of action.
According to the TDCL, clause 3.2 of the agreement indicated that GPHA could not handle vessels carrying more than 200 containers as any ship loaded with that quantity of containers would go to the new terminal three.
It also stated that GPHA under the concession was expected to pay MPS 30 per cent of proceeds from container handling at terminal which was currently in the domain of MPS.
Meridian Port Services, under the contract, would not pay any royalties to the GPHA for operating terminal three even though it would handle almost all the containers that come to the Tema Port.
Mr Ebenezer Kodwo Taylor, Chairman of the TDCL, indicated that “all jobs of GPHA, will be taken over by MPS because everything that comes to the port is in a container, there will be a sharp fall in the GPHA’s revenue which will lead to their inability to pay salaries and maintain the port”.