Shop stewards of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) branch of the Maritime and Dockworkers Union (MDU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), have threatened to break away from the MDU if the leadership continued to occupy itself with issues outside of its mandate.
A shop steward is a person elected by workers to represent them in dealings with management.
At a well-attended press conference held in Tema last week, the Chief Shop Steward of the union at GPHA, Mr Emmanuel Arhin, contended that a resolution published in the media by the MDU in September, 2017, calling for the dismissal of some management personnel of PSC Tema Shipyard had no basis in law and unionism.
According to him, the said resolution which was attributed to the MDU, was rather a decision taken by a few in the union’s hierarchy “As you may know, the Tema Shipyard and Drydock is a subsidiary of GPHA. Therefore the Shop Floor, in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at the shipyard, express our disappointment and condemn the repulsive action,” he stated. “It is also clear that it was deliberately done to put GPHA, and for that matter the Tema Shipyard, in the news for the wrong reasons and cause public disaffection for the authority”, he added.
The Chief Shop Steward went on to say that “we find it strange that the MDU will depart from its main precept of protecting and defending workers and make such a bizarre call.”
He scolded the MDU leadership for gross disrespect to GPHA workers, hence the refusal to even meet and interact with the Shop Floor, not to talk about the entire workforce.
According to Mr Arhin, GPHA workers intend to cut off ties with the MDU and join what he described as “the more responsive, respectful and proactive Ports, Seamen, Maritime and Dockworkers Union (PSMDU).”
He added that “we shall very soon write to notify management of GPHA of this intention and start the process thereof.”
Source: The Ghanaian Chronicle