Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday March 27, 2018
The Tema District Council of Maritime Dockworkers Union (MDU) is on collision course with a private company that is operating at the Tema Port.
Members of the Union have accused MOL Ghana/One Group and its Managing Director Michael Cooper of violating the country’s labour laws with impunity.
A strongly worded letter issued in Tema and jointly signed by Sawla Abudu Nelso and Ebenezer Kwadwo Taylor, Tema Council MDU Chairperson and Secretary respectively with copies to the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority, Tema Metropolitan Assembly, Trades Union Congress, among others, claimed the private company was in the business of ‘unfair practices, intimidation and threats of workers.”
According to the union, the private company has instituted what it called “un-negotiated inhumane working conditions, in clear violation of the labour laws, saying “it has brought unfriendly working conditions, arbitrary dismissals which are recipe for industrial unrest.”
Making direct reference to Mr Cooper, the council alleged “when you took over as the MD of MOL, you started threatening, intimidating to cow workers and union executives so that you can have your own way in doing things contrary to the labour laws of Ghana.”
According to the union’s leadership, “When the MOL union executives intervened to bring you (Mr. Cooper) on track, the best you could do was to dismiss them arbitrarily without any apparent reason.”
They claimed without any recourse to ILO Convention 98, 87 and Ghana’s Constitution, the MD “arbitrarily threw away the already existing working conditions which had been negotiated and agreed upon by MDU and MOL Management and replaced them with your own inhumane worker-unfriendly conditions of service, which is not even negotiated.
“If you do not know, we are bringing it to your notice that the maritime industry is a very sensitive sector of the economy, and we have painstakingly ensured continuous industrial harmonious peaceful working atmosphere for the past decades. We would not sit down for anybody, whether inadvertently or intentionally- to try and distabilise this industrial peace the sector has been enjoying.”
As a result, the council called on the MD to respect the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the MDU and MOL and reinstate four workers he arbitrarily dismissed or face their wrath.
“We reserve the right to converge for our general meeting to take the next line of action,” they said, adding that “any industrial unrest within the maritime industry would be the responsibility and liability of you should the otherwise happen.”