March 09, 2021

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Senior staff union of GPHA support management of Tema Shipyard

The senior staff union of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, (GPHA) has added its voice to the call by the shop stewards by jumping to the defense of the CEO of Tema Shipyard Captain Kwesi Micah and Samuel Adjar, the Administration and Estate Manager of Tema Shipyard.

The MDU in a purported resolution had called for the removal of the two. But addressing a press conference, John Asef, the Senior Staff Chairman commended the management of the shipyard for making the place a profitable venture despite dilapidated state that GPHA inherited.

“We believe the management at the Tema Shipyard has done so well and we should applauding them as a nation. As at 2015, the shipyard was a graveyard but when you visit there today you will see the transformation under the leadership of those persons we are calling for their removal,” he said.

John Asef called for unity amongst the workers so as to lift the shipyard to the highest pedestal.

“We are appealing to the workforce of the shipyard and the drydock that there is strength in unity, hold hands together with MDU and let us continue to strive together for the effectiveness and efficient management of the shipyard,” he charged.

FIND BELOW THE STATEMENT BY THE SHOP STEWARDS OF THE GHANA PORTS AND HARBOURS AUTHORITY

RE: RESOLUTION ADOPTED ON TEMA SHIPYARD & DRYDOCK

The Shop Floor of the Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority have noted with strong objection a contemptible publication caused by the Maritime & Dockworkers Union (MDU) in the various news portals.

As you may know, the Tema Drydock & Shipyard is a subsidiary of the Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority, therefore, the Shop Floor, in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at the Drydock & Shipyard express our disappointment and condemn this repulsive action.

The publication headlined: ‘’Sack Tema Shipyard CEO’’ purports to be a resolution passed by the Tema District Council of the Union (MDU).

Clearly, by its dictates, it was a malicious attempt by the Union (MDU) to ramp up needless staff and government resentment against the Director-General, the C.E.O and Admin & Estate Manager of the Tema Drydock & Shipyard.

It is also clear that, it was deliberately done to put G.P.H.A and for that matter Tema Shipyard in the news for the wrong reasons and cause public disaffection for the Authority.

However, we write to inform you (MDU)– it failed woefully. And thus, assure you of our unflinching support for the management of G.P.H.A led by the Director –General and ask you to desist from the ill-motive of destroying dissenting opinionated persons in the management of the Authority.

We find it strange that, the Union (MDU), will depart from its main precept of protecting and defending workers and make such a bizarre call.

To gently remind you, the Labour law under sections 108, 153, 154 and Collective Agreement jointly signed by the Union (MDU) and Management of Tema Drydock & Shipyard spells out grievance settlement procedures.

Therefore, as an aggrieved party and fundamentally, a signatory to the agreement, your call should be to follow due process not the perverse news-headline path.

For your information, the two persons, Captain Francis K.B Micah and Mr. Samuel A.N. Adjar are senior management members of G.P.H.A and not members of the Union (MDU) hence the Union has no authority to shamefully ask for their dismissal.

To put on record, since you assumed office as the General Secretary, you have shown gross disrespect to G.P.H.A workers hence your deviant refusal to even meet and interact with the Shop Floor not to talk of the entire workforce.

But be informed of the concrete intentions of G.P.H.A workers to sever ties with the Union (MDU) and join the more responsive, respectful and proactive PSMDU.

We shall very soon write to notify Management of G.P.H.A of this intention and start the process thereof.

Relatedly, the shop floor notes of a frivolous proposal submitted to the Union (MDU) by the Local Union (G.P.H.A – JSU) to remove the position of a shop steward from the collective agreement and/or MDU constitution.

Kindly be advised that, procedural law is equally as important as substantive law hence an adoption of such trivial proposal constitutes an infringement of the law.

As you are aware, any amendment(s) of the constitution can ONLY be carried out at the Ordinary Congress. For the avoidance of doubt, Article 6.2 of the constitution postulates:

‘’ the highest governing body of the National Union is its Ordinary Delegates Conference which is the ONLY ORGAN that may amend or otherwise modify the constitution’’. (emphasis added)

Assuming without admitting that the Union (MDU) is acquiesced on this matter, we inform you that, the shop steward position in the Authority (G.P.H.A) was meritoriously placed in the collective agreement to timeously help intercede in matters that is affecting industry and labour at the sub-divisional level before it escalate to higher proportions.

It is for this reason that, for instance, in the settlement of grievances and the discharge of discipline, the Collective Agreement adopts the procedure whereby the shop steward is involved at the various stages since he/she understands the standard operating procedure of that sub-division.

Again, the creation of the shop steward was intended to solve the ever-increasing worker – union ratio to make the Union more effective, efficient and in-touch with the working masses at every level of employment.

Crucially, shop stewards operate as the communication link between workers and the local executive body.

Therefore, it cannot be understated that, the framers of the MDU constitution and G.P.H.A Management in their wisdom, recognizes the pivotal role of a shop steward in the administration and management of the Union and the Authority at the sub-divisional level.

Regrettably, it can only be said that, the proposal submitted for the Unions (MDU) consideration, was arbitrarily put together by the Local Union without due consideration and to downplay the significant role of the shop steward in the administration of the Union in the sub-division.

Also, it intends to wash away the huge scores of successes chalked by past and present shop stewards who toiled to bring the Union thus far just for parochial and dishonest mission.

Nonetheless, the Union (MDU), an adherent of rule of law, we are confident it shall uphold and defend its constitution by objecting this illogical proposal.

Thank you in anticipation of the Union working efficiently to improve the conditions of service of workers under its umbrella.

Yours faithfully, G.P.H.A SHOP STEWARDS – LOCAL UNION EMMANUEL ARHIN

Source: Eye on Port

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