TUC unions support Tema Shipyard restructuring
The Tema Shipyard Limited Local Union of the National Union of Seamen, Ports and Allied Workers (NUSPAW) of the TUC has urged media practitioners to do due diligence regarding the ongoing restructuring and capital injection at the Tema Shipyard before publishing their stories.
According to the union, journalists would serve the public better if they sought the right information before publication.
The call, which was contained in a statement jointly signed by the chairmen of the various unions and issued in Accra yesterday, was in respect of what the unions termed “misleading reports by the media to the public.
It said management went through all the processes outlined in the Labour Act (Act 651, 2002) and subsequent procedures before implementing the ongoing labour restructuring and capital injection exercise.
Again, it said, it was a misrepresentation and ill-intentioned for some journalists to create the impression that the sector Minister,Ofori Asiamah, had shown no concern and taken no intervention to save the dying company from total collapse, stressing that it was rather the minister who had been at the forefront of reviving the Tema Shipyard.
Explaining further, the statement said: “If you care to know, the downward trend of PSC Tema Shipyard dates back to 2010 when the government of Ghana through GPHA bought the Malaysians shares from the Malaysians”.
Giving the background to the event, the statement said the government in 2016 handed over management of Shipyard to the Ghana Ports and Highways (GHPA) to look for a strategic investor to bring the Shipyard to standard.
It said workers of Tema Shipyard had been calling for a strategic investor to revamp the ailing Shipyard since the departure of the Malaysians, adding that since 2010 the government had tried to satisfy the expectations of the workers but to no avail.
The statement said: “The Minister, during a certain period where the yard has been without vessels for about four months, single-handedly secured vessels to the Shipyard for repairs to keep the Shipyard moving.
According to the union, the ailing shipyard had gone through a lot of new developments after the minister’s intervention and gave the assurance that the minister was up to the task of ensuring that the Tema Shipyard was revived, made competitive and profitable.
“Majority of workers in Tema Shipyard are in support of the restructuring exercise currently underway. We would have been very happy if journalists misrepresenting the facts got in touch with the leadership of the union publishing their stories on the subject”, the statement said.
TUC aware of restructuring exercise
The statement further explained the ongoing labour restructuring exercise had received the blessings of the Secretary General of the TUC, Dr Yaw Baah.
“Dr Yaw Baah has held meetings with the Sector Minister and the CEO regarding this very restructuring exercise. In fact, the TUC Secretary General is the one who authorised the CEO to go to the Chief Labour Officer for permission to carry out the exercise.
“The exercise at the moment has been and also going to be a major benefit to most of the workers. The TUC Secretary General delegated representatives to the Negotiation Team in the persons of Dr Ebenezer Nyarko Otto, Rose Kwei and Miriam Atuguba.
In the view of the union, shipyards in countries such as Cote D’Ivoire, Senegal and Equatorial Guinea were doing very well than the Tema Shipyard because of the nature of their labour setup. “
It is therefore the vision of the Chief Executive Officer of the Tema Shipyard, Dr Alexander Adusei, and the Sector Minister, Mr Asiamah, to operate a similar shipyard model as mentioned in the countries highlighted with the aim of tripling the current labour force when the yard is operating efficiently with private capital injection.