MDU, GPHA grow wild as MPS fails on 20% container business promise

Business News of Monday, 17 February 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

2020-02-17

General Secretary of MDU (middle), Daniel Owusu-Koranteng addressing the press in Accra

The Maritime and Dockworkers’ Union, (MDU) and the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority, (GPHA), have launched a renewed campaign to demand the immediate implementation of the release of 20% of overall container business at the port to the GHPA, after a long wait on the partner company, MPS to honour their part of the concession agreement signed last year.

It would be recalled that, the Shareholders of Meridian Port Services which comprises GPHA and Meridian Port Holding (MPH) in November last year met with Meridian Port Services (MPS) in Dubai on the need to avert massive job cut and dwindling revenues of the GPHA, after the takeover by the MPS in June 2019.

The MPH which has 70% of the shareholding is composed of Bollore Logistics and APM Terminal whilst GPHA which is the Landlord has 30% shares in Meridian Port Services (MPS).

In a strongly worded letter to the Ministry of Transports dated February 13, 2020, the GPHA and MDU urged government to, as a matter of urgency, move to resolve the issue which, according to them, could lead to massive job losses.

Read the full statement below

COMPLAINT OF MARITIME AND DOCKWORKERS’ UNION AND LOCAL UNIONS OF GHANA PORTS AND HARBOURS AUTHORITY (GPHA) ON THE DELAY IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION OF MPS SHAREHOLDERS TO GRANT THE TWENTY PERCENT (20%) CONTAINER BUSINESS TO GPHA.

We wish to recall that in 2019, the Maritime and Dockworkers’ Union (MDU), the Trades Union Congress (Ghana) and the workers of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) developed a campaign for the review of the contract agreement of the Meridian Port Services (MPS) Terminal 3 because of its negative effects on the revenues of GPHA and other maritime operators.

We recall again that the campaign and the collective agitations of the MDU, TUC and the workers of GPHA resulted in the President of the Republic of Ghana recommending a tripartite approach for the review of the MPS Terminal 3 Agreement.

It would be helpful to state that when the negotiating team for the review of the MPS Terminal 3 contract agreement failed to reach agreement in Ghana, the shareholders at a meeting in Dubai on the 12th of November 2019, took a decision to grant 20% of Container Business to Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to avert the revenue losses and its associated job losses.

WE SEEK TRUE PROSPERITY, SOLIDARITY & FRATERNITY OF WORKERS

OFFICE OF THE GENERAL SECRETARY

On the basis of the decision in Dubai by the shareholders of MPS to grant GPHA 20% of Container Business, we suspended the campaign in the hope that immediate steps would be taken to implement the decision.

We wish to draw attention to the fact that the contract agreement which is very favourable to Meridian Port Services took effect in July 2018 when the Terminal 3 became operational.

GPHA has since then been losing huge revenues from the loss of container business to MPS in addition to other streams of revenues from port dues , reefer container business, port dues, royalties etc.

Whilst MPS is continuously reaping the benefits of the MPS Terminal 3 agreement, GPHA is experiencing dwindling revenues each day.

We are aware that an important impediment to the implementation of the decision of the Shareholders in Dubai to grant GPHA 20% of Container business is the proposal of MPS to implement the 20% Container Business to GPHA on a continuous reduction formula within a 4-year term.

We are unhappy about the delay in the implementation of the 20% Container Business to GPHA as well as the implementation of the decision on a reduction basis to cover only a 4-year period.

We therefore resolve as follows:

1. That we reject the proposal of MPS to implement the “Dubai Decision” on a continuous reduction formula for a 4-year term. Our position is that the “Dubai Decision” of granting 20% Container Business to GPHA should be implemented in the Contract period of the MPS Terminal 3 agreement.

2. We are seeking immediate implementation of the 20% Container Business to GPHA.

3. We hope to have positive feedback on our demand in a week in the interest of industrial peace.

We hope to count on your usual cooperation in this regard.

SIGNED

1. DANIEL OWUSU-KORANTENG, (GENERAL SECRETARY OF

MDU)

2. KEKU ARMQUASI-ARMUZUAH, SECRETARY JUNIOR STAFF

UNION OF GPHA -TEMA)

3. BENJAMIN NARH ( SECRETARY-SENIOR STAFF UNION OF

GPHA , TEMA

4. KWAME AGYENIM BOATENG -SECRETARY OF SENIOR

STAFF UNION OF GPHA -TAKORADI

5. FORTUNE AGBODZA – SECRETARY OF JUNIOR STAFF

UNION OF GPHA-TAKORADI

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