The Ghana Airport Company Workers Union have temporarily suspended its strike, which disrupted airline operations at the Kotoka International Airport on Friday.
Speaking to the media, the Deputy General Secretary of the Public Services Workers Union, John Sampah, said after a brief meeting with Ministers-designate for National Security, Employment and Labour Relations as well as Transport, the workers reached an agreement to have another meeting to resolve the issues/impasse.
The Ministers-designate were at the airport trying to convince the union leaders to call off the strike, which was intended to force out the Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company, Yaw Kwakwa, for alleged mismanagement of the company.
“For now, our decision is that for the respect for the state and the ministers that have also come here, we want to halt the action and go into the meeting. At the end of the meeting we will communicate to you the next line of action,” Mr Sampah said.
“We are halting the action temporarily. It is a partial withdrawal of some services, but we are halting it temporarily and go into the meeting; right after the meeting we will meet you and communicate the decision taken,” he emphasised.
The Divisional Union of the Ghana Airports Company had directed all staff to withdraw their services from the Kotoka International Airport, beginning February 26, 2021.
The affected services included screening of pre-board passengers and access control, fire safety/cover for all aircrafts, water supply and sewage treatment as well as public announcement and flights display.
In a statement, the union, which is a member of the Public Sector Workers Union, said the action had become necessary following the attempt by Board of the Ghana Airport Company to shelve the report of an investigative committee, comprising the Ministry of Aviation, Senior Management and the PSWU, which allegedly confirms the mismanagement and abuse of office levelled against the Managing Director, Yaw Kwakwa.
“We believe the only way to turn the fortunes of the company is the removal of the Managing Director,” the statement explained.
Staff of the Ghana Airport Company Limited have since July 2020 been protesting plans by the government to engage Turkish firm TAV-Summa Consortium as a strategic partner for expansion works at the Airport, coupled with allegations that the management of the Airport had been ceded to a private player.
According to the aggrieved workers, the said partnership with the Turkism firm could render some of them jobless and possibly reduce the benefits they currently enjoy.
But the latest disagreement is with their Managing Director whom they accuse of mismanagement, outsourcing of key services at exorbitant costs, lack of interest in staff welfare among others.
The workers claim “the Managing Director since assumption of office two years ago has demonstrated gross incompetence, insensitivity and lack of understanding of the critical aviation industry and therefore his continuous stay in office will further derail the progress of the company.”