Tension brewing among workers of Tema Motorway extension project
The workers are calling on management to reinstate four of their leaders who have been sacked for allegedly threatening stoppage of the project to back their demands for some better working conditions.
The four:Vincent Akpo, Abel Gbagba, Solomon Edzewodzi and Mabu Bismark, who were Local Union Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Organizer respectively, were handed over their termination letter on January 28, 2019.
The letter signed by Madam Juana A. Boateng, Country Director of PMS International Mainstay, stated in part “we refer to our letter dated January 14, 2019 warning you about your involvement in an illegal stoppage. We have further received a signed letter of complaint threatening further work stoppage if the Company fails to meet your demand”.
It added that “this is to notify you that such threats are illegal and warrants your immediate termination”.
Mr Abraham Koomson, Secretary General of the Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) told the Ghana News Agency that they received complaints from the sacked local union leaders about the issue.
Mr Koomson added that the four alleged they were being victimized for forming the union and demanding better working conditions for workers.
He said every work must conform with the laws of the country and must be decent and “not just about working 24 hours without break and they call it we have created jobs”.
He added that if the workers thought it wise to come together to form a union to champion their cause, it was not illegal as it was their right under the country’s laws.
Mr Koomson said the workers had a six month contract with the Company starting from December 2018 and therefore had the right to demand for proper regulation of their salaries, overtime, payment of their social security and other benefits to prevent workers’ exploitation and cheating.
The GFL therefore called on management of the company to either reinstate the affected workers or fulfill the needed obligations for terminating their contracts four months earlier to avoid further agitations among workers.
“There is tension at the site and that is not what we want, nobody has time to instigate, but the workers are human beings who deserve to be treated well”, he added
Madam Boateng Senyo Adzabeng had however denied sacking the four because of the formation of a union noting that Management was ready to accept workers union so long as they had certification.
According to her, the four were sacked for misconducting themselves at the site, indicating that their “Good will”, as well as a three-months pay compensation had been prepared for them but they were yet to go for it.