A demonstration was held yesterday (Wednesday, 8th July 2020) by workers of the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) to kick against management on plans to privatize the company through what they call a partnering business with a Turkish firm “TAV-SUMMA Consortium”.
On 24th March 2020, a memo was sent from the Presidency to the Minister for Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, which approved the latter’s request to “facilitate the engagement of TAV-SUMMA Consortium as strategic partners to the Ghana Airport Company Limited”.
The approval, which was contained in the memo stated: “for the improvement of service delivery and expansion of infrastructure at the Kotoka International Airport”.
This according to the staffs isn’t the best decision claiming that the management is planning on privatizing the company.
Clad in red and black attires and bands, the staff demonstrated at the premises of the company, demanding that the Managing Director of the company be sacked for failing in his responsibilities.
Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Aviation, it is only partnering the company for the purposes of expansion.
According to the aggrieved workers, the said partnership with the Turkism firm, TAV-Summa Consortium, could render some of them jobless and possibly reduce the benefits they currently enjoy hence the demonstration.
Speaking to the General Secretary of the Public Services Workers’ Union of the Trades Union Congress, TUC, Bernard Adjei, he noted that indeed the management issued an MOU informing staffs about it.
“Sometime last year, the issue came up and it is about giving out either a part of the whole of the Airport to a private entity. As a union when some of these issues come up, of course, we must be concerned. As time went on the matter seemed to have died down, but we know what we have seen, and the processes that have been outlined.”
“I must say that when we heard of the latest information, we quickly arranged for a standing negotiation committee. Indeed management honoured the standing negotiation committee and briefed us that there is indeed an MOU to initiate and start a discussion on some proposals that have come from a private entity expressing interest in having a partnership with GACL in the management of the Airport and other activities,” he added.
After evidence that the president granted the request of the ministry of aviation in a later date 24th March 2020, the union still insists that GACL does not need any private partners, particularly not a foreign company.
“What we want to assure you is that we will not sit down for anything to be done to the disadvantage of you the workers because we know how you have toiled to bring the Airport to its current status. If it comes to the management of the Airport, we know that you are doing your possible best under the circumstances you find yourselves in. So in order not to preempt our position on the negotiation we have heard you, your executives have told us. When we go to the negotiations, we are going to advance your position and that position is that the Airport can be run by Ghanaians and it will be run by Ghanaians” he noted.
By Amos Ekow Coffie | talksafrica.com