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MDU lauds Akufo-Addo’s decision to review MPS deal

The Maritime and Dockworkers’ Union (MDU) has commended President Akufo-Addo, for taking a decisive step to dealing with the concerns of the union members in relation to the concession agreement of the  Container Terminal (Terminal 3) of Meridian Ports Services (MPS) in Tema Port.

”The leadership of MDU and the executives of the Local Unions of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) wish to express our gratitude to you for creating a conducive atmosphere for open and frank discussion on the MPS issue. We felt encouraged to express our fears, anxiety, comments and suggestions on the matter,” the union said.

The union made the commendation in a letter addressed to the president and released to the media in Accra on Thursday.

Aggrieved workers of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) have kicked against the implementation of the Tema Ports Expansion concession agreement by the Meridian Port Service (MPS).

With current the monopolistic rights of MPS, GPHA and other operators in the Tema Port such as terminal operators, Inland Container Depots (ICDs), Stevedoring companies and shore handling companies are to lose huge revenues that may lead to the collapse of many container-related businesses.

GPHA is likely to sack about 1,400 workers to make way for the deal, thereby causing the Authority to lose millions of dollars in revenue in addition to over $800 million granted to MPS in tax concessions.

Over 3, 000 workers at the various ICDs, Stevedoring companies and shore handling companies are to also lose their jobs after the implementation of the deal.

While applauding the president for decision to review the deal, the union requested that he ”attach urgency to
the implementation of actions for the renegotiation of the MPS Container Terminal(Terminal
3) agreement for Tema Port”.

Below is MDU’s full letter to President Akufo-Addo 

Wednesday, 22 May 2019
H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
President of the Republic of Ghana
Jubilee House
Accra

Your Excellency,
                                              EXPRESSION OF GRATITUDE
On behalf of the Leadership and members of the Maritime and Dockworkers’ Union (MDU), we wish to express our sincere gratitude to H.E. Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo for granting us the opportunity to discuss the concerns of our union and members in relation to the Concession agreement of the Container Terminal(Terminal 3) of Meridian Ports Services (MPS) in Tema Port.

The leadership of MDU and the executives of the Local Unions of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) wish to express our gratitude to you for creating a conducive atmosphere for open and frank discussion on the MPS issue. We felt encouraged to express our fears, anxiety, comments and suggestions on the matter.

We thank you for giving us hope in your commitment to resolve the problem at its roots. We were satisfied by your assurance that you would work within a tripartite framework on the matter which in our view would involve the MDU and the Trades Union Congress (Ghana) in addressing the challenges posed by the MPS Concession agreement for the new Container Terminal.

Your Excellency, whilst appreciating that the meeting with you had inspired hope and confidence in our leadership and members, we kindly request that you to attach urgency to the implementation of actions for the renegotiation of the MPS Container Terminal(Terminal 3) agreement for Tema Port. We state so believing that the renegotiation of the MPS agreement would be in the interest of our country and the protection of jobs for thousands of Ghanaians whose lives and survival are linked to the Blue economy.

We further commend you for having the foresight in setting up the Ministerial Committee to review the main concession agreement of 2004 and its Deed of Amendment of 2015.

We are aware that the report of the Ministerial Committee concluded inter alia that: “GPHA-MPH / MPS concession arrangements, in its current form, grossly disadvantages GPHA and poses a substantial risk of financial, social and economic loss to the Government and People of Ghana as well as the threat of a monopolistic control of Ghana’s main international trade cluster – the Port of Tema.”

Your Excellency, we humbly request you to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the Ministerial Committee in the interest of our dear nation and maritime employees.

We wish you God’s blessings, courage and fortitude in acting with dispatch on this matter, which has attracted so much public interest.

Yours faithfully,

FOR: MARITIME AND DOCKWORKERS’ UNION

Daniel Owusu-Koranteng

General Secretary
cc
The Minister,
Ministry of Transport
Accra
The Minister,
Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations
Accra
The Secretary General
Trades Union Congress (Ghana)
Accra.
The Director General
Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority
Tema

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