Trades Union Congress (TUC) has advised government to review the port expansion project pact to save 1,400 workers likely to lose their jobs.
The TUC in a statement said the contract between Ghana government and Meridian Port Services (MPS) could force the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) alone to dismiss about 1,400 workers in 2019 due to MPS monopoly at the Tema Port.
“The ports need special attention. We would like to use this opportunity to draw the attention of the President to very important issues relating to the building of a new Container Terminal by the Meridian Port Services (MPS),” the TUC noted as it presented its statement in reaction to the State of the Nation Address last week.
It said: “Our understanding is that Ghana Government signed a 35-year contract with MPS in 2015 which allows MPS to effectively monopolize the activities at the Tema Port. We have information that the contract was awarded to MPS without going through a competitive bidding process. The information we have gathered further indicates that when the new terminal commences operations in June, 2019 with the monopolistic rights of MPS, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and other operators in the Tema Port such as terminal operators, Inland Container Depots (ICDs), Stevedoring companies and shore handling companies would lose huge revenues that may lead to the collapse of many container-related businesses.
“This would translate into massive job losses in the maritime industry which is already grappling with redundancies as a result of government’s policy of registering many Stevedore and shore handling companies. There are indications that GPHA alone may sack about 1,400 workers in 2019, as a result of the MPS monopoly at the Tema Port. If the contract is not reviewed and MPS commences operation in the new terminal in June, 2019 government/GPHA will surely lose millions of US dollars in revenue, in addition to over US$800 million granted to MPS in tax concessions.
“We are, therefore, not only concerned about the massive job losses that would result from the operations of the new Container Terminal by MPS but also the huge losses in government revenue. We would like to humbly appeal to H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to intervene, as a matter of urgency, to ensure that the contract between Ghana Government and Meridian Port Services is reviewed.”
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