The Maritime and Dockworkers Union says the management of Meridian Port Services (MPS) refusal to commit itself to an agreement to give legal backing to the decision which the shareholders of MPS took in Dubai on 12th November 2019 to grant GPHA the 20% container business amounts to disrespect for the President and members of his cabinet.
It will be recalled that GPHA workers led by the MDU, local unions and Shop Stewards of GPHA embarked on industrial actions from 16th to 18th June 2020 to prevent vessels from berthing at the Tema Port.
In a letter to the Minister of Transport dated 17th June 2020, the MDU demanded the reversal of the decision for MPS to take over the handling of Reefer Container business from GPHA on the instructions of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) based on unproven allegations of missing containers when the Reefer Container business is not part of the MPS agreement.
Additionally, the MDU demanded that an agreement between MPS and GPHA should be signed to give legal support for the decision to grant 20% container business to GPHA .
In a response to the demands of MDU dated 17th June 2020, the Minister of Transport quoted Cabinet decision as follows: That the Cabinet Secretary write to inform the Ghana Revenue Authority to hand over all Refrigerated Containers to GPHA before the end of the month.
That the government position for GPHA to handle 20% of the containerised cargo during the exclusivity period of ten ( 10) years has not changed . That the GPHA should go ahead with the leasing of Marine Cranes to enable them to effectively handle containers.
The MDU stated in the letter signed by Daniel Owusu-Koranteng , General Secretary of the Maritime and Dockworkers Union that “ failure to receive firm action on the above by 25th June 2020 , the union would advise itself and we should not be blamed .”
A letter dated 25th of June 2020 to the Minister of Transport and signed by Mr Daniel Owusu-Koranteng , the General Secretary of the Maritime and Dockworkers Union expressed profound gratitude to the President of the Republic of Ghana and the Minister of Transport for ensuring the reversal of the decision by GRA which allowed MPS to take over the Reefer Container business from GPHA and indicated that the movement of Reefer Containers from the port to the Reefer Container Terminal of GPHA started on 23rd June 2020 . The letter stated that, “We serve notice that it is only when MPS signs the aforementioned agreement on the 20% container business to be handled by GPHA that we would regard the impasse as being resolved.”