Tension is mounting at PSC Tema Shipyard at Tema over the activities of two rival unions that represent the staff.
The workers of the company, which is under Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), are at each other’s throat over the formation of the two unions namely- Maritime and Dockworkers’ Union (MDU) and Ports, Seamen, Maritime and Dockers Union (PSMDU).
The problems, if not resolved, could spark labour unrest at the country’s port.
A resolution passed by the Tema District Council of Labour of the MDU, which has been intercepted by DAILY GUIDE, said the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Shipyard, Captain Francis K.B. Micah, had been embroiled in a tussle with the labour unions which has resulted in physical attacks on some staff.
It further alleged that two staff of the company, Faruk Abdul Razak and Abubakar Salifu, were violently dragged out of the company by leadership of PSMDU for openly declaring their support for MDU.
On September 13, 2017, without any provocation, one Patrick Attikey, acting MDU Local Union Chairman of PSC Tema Shipyard, was also reportedly assaulted by leaders and members of PSMDU in the same company.
The MDU said that “there have been instances whereby threats and intimidation of MDU members by PSMDU members have been reported to the management of PSC Tema Shipyard, but the management of the company failed to take any steps to investigate such serious infractions of company rules for appropriate disciplinary actions to be taken against the offending workers.”
The District Council of Labour of MDU has called on the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to, as a matter of urgency, remove Captain Francis K.B. Micah and Samuel A.N. Adjar, the Admin. & Estate Officer of PSC Tema Shipyard, and appoint people who would be able to restore unity, discipline and trust among the employees to achieve productivity.”
The MDU appealed to the authorities to thoroughly investigate the assault against Patrick Attikey and punish the offenders in accordance with the rules of the company and the laws of the country.
Information gathered by DAILY GUIDE indicates that junior staff of the Shipyard have broken away to form a new union, and the Maritime and Dockworkers Union (MDU) of the TUC, which used to negotiate on their behalf, is unhappy and has called on the Labour Commission to revoke its Collective Bargaining Certificate.
The MDU argued that the Labour Commission wrongfully granted the bargaining certificate to the breakaway union called PSMDU.
It further revealed that the issuance of the same certificate to two trade unions for the same class of workers in one company constitutes a violation of the Labour Law (Act 651, 2003) that could create tension to affect productivity.
From Vincent Kubi, Tema