The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has raised am alarm over the possible lay-off of workers at the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) following the contract between government and Meridian Port Services (MPS).
According to the TUC, if government did not review the port expansion project agreement, 1,400 workers are likely to lose their jobs.
This was contained in a statement by TUC following President Akufo-Addo’s State of the Nation Address delivered last week.
“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 statement noted.
In 2015 government signed a 35-year contract with MPS which allows the latter 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,” it said.
Again the TUC indicated that if the contract is not reviewed and MPS commences operation in the new terminal in June, 2019 government/GPHA will 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,” they said.