GPHA, MPS in standoff over Tema Port expansion deal

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Some workers of the GPHA[/caption] A meeting between the management of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Meridian Ports Service (MPS) to commence negotiations for job retention in the Tema Port expansion deal has ended inconclusively. The government granted a 35-year concession to MPS to develop and operate the Tema port, a deal which leaves workers of the GPHA in the balance. There was therefore the need for the two institutions to meet and work out the operation modalities with regard to job security. Both parties called for more time to compile needed documents to advance the discussion. The meeting followed a directive issued by the Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, for management to iron out issues with the developer, MPS, on how workers of GPHA could still be retained in the deal. Though the government has been challenged to make definite pronouncements on the concession agreement, the meeting ended inconclusively as both parties say they are still gathering enough information. Director General of the GPHA Michael Lujuge, who was part of the meeting, gave an assurance that plans are underway to put clarity on the way forward for workers. Meanwhile, some workers of the GPHA under the Maritime Dock Workers Union have started a one-week protest, which they claim will continue this week. The Chief Steward for workers of the GPHA, Emmanuel Arhin Young, has called for the resignation of Mr Ofori Asiamah, alleging he failed to pay heed to their demands. Background The granting of the concession to MPS to develop and operate the new port for 35 years has generated some controversy within the maritme sector The Union is calling for a total review of key clauses that except the company from paying dividends to GPHA in the first 10 years of operations. By Josephine Frempong|3news.com|Ghana.]]>

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