GHPA workers demonstrate against MPS agreement… Over concession agreement  

The Local Union of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) yesterday staged demonstration in protest against the Meridian Ports Services (MPS)-GPHA concession agreement signed in 2015.

Clad in red attires, head gears and arm bands, the workers contended that the refusal of MPS to cede 20 per cent container business to GPHA had been having dire impact on the workforce since 2019.

They stated that following a petition presented by the Maritime Dock Workers Union, the government through the management of Ministries of Lands and Natural Resources, and Transport engaged both MPS and GPHA workers  to ensure that, the demands of GPHA be adhered to by MPS.

The fallout from the engagement directed that all refrigerated containerised cargo volumes from MPS are sent to GPHA Reefer Terminal, GPHA to implement its intention of leasing Harbour Mobile Cranes for its containerised vessel operations and GPHA be allowed to handle 20 per cent of containerised cargo traffic during the 10-year exclusivity period.

Local Union Chairman of GPHA, Emmanuel Arhin Young, said failure to implement the agreed terms had triggered the protest and other actions to compel government to direct MPS to implement the deal.

He said union had engaged both management of GPHA and Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah “on the MPS-GPHA issues and the fallout from all the engagements sounded frustrating and hopeless.”

“We view the development as gross disrespect by MPS for disregarding cabinet-led directive over this period of time,” he said.

The situation is unacceptable considering the negative impact of the failure to implement the deal is having on the entire workforce and financial sustenance of GPHA in general.

According to him, workers’ condition of service was getting worse with the current economic situation of the country.

Mr Arhin-Young said the Local Union was left with the only option to embark on the demonstration to compel the implementation of the cabinet directive to the latter to save the current situation of GPHA and beyond.

“While MPS continues to benefit financially from the Terminal 3 agreement, GPHA is losing huge revenues everyday thus creating financial and operational problems for GPHA.”

He concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the maritime industry negatively and it has become an urgent issue for GPHA to seek immediate implementation of the ceding of the 20 per cent container business.


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