Local and international departures at the Kotoko International Airport (KIA) are expected to be disrupted this morning following a call for the withdrawal of services of all general staff at the Airport from 6 am of Friday February 26, 2021 until further notice.
The call was made by the Divisional Union of the Public Services Workers Union at the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL).
According to the Union, the withdrawal of their services which include mandatory screening services, flight display and announcements, has been necessitated by attempts by the Board of the company to shelve a report which confirms allegations of mismanagement and abuse of office levelled against the Managing Director, Mr. Yaw Kwakwa.
Abdul-Issaka Bamba is the Divisional Chairman of the PSWU at the Airport Company Limited and he has been speaking to Citi Business News.
“Our expectation is that the Managing Director must be removed. If we allow this man to continue to stay in office the fortunes of the company can only dwindle. If he’s not removed we are not backing down. We’ll continue increasing our levels of withdrawal of services until we get what we want. For now, that is phase one, we are withdrawing among other things pre-boarding passenger screening, which means no one can board a flight.”
“All the gates leading to the restricted areas will be shut, customer service will be closed to anyone. So for now this is where we are, if nothing happens we’ll activate our next level of action,” he added.
NLC secures injunction against intended strike by airport staff
The National Labour Commission has secured an interlocutory injunction to stop an intended strike by workers of the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL).
The workers union of GACL accused the company’s Managing Director, Yaw Kawkaw of being incompetent and demanded his removal from office.
(Yaw Kwakwa, Managing Director of the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL))
Workers of GACL had served notice of laying down their tools on Monday, October 19, 2020, to force the appropriate authorities to yield to their demands.
But the Labour Commission went to court to compel the workers to rescind the decision.
The High Court in its order given by Justice Kweku Ackaah Boafo, directed that: “the Respondent Union herein whether by themselves, executives, officers, members, agents, servants, employees or other persons are restrained from embarking on the intended illegal strike action on Monday, 19th October 2020… It is hereby also ordered that the order shall be valid for ten (10) days”.
Staff of the Ghana Airport Company Limited have since July 2020 been protesting plants 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.”
Possible impact of strike
Domestic and international travel at Ghana’s four airports could have been disrupted should the staff of the Ghana Airport Company Limited be allowed to embark on the industrial action.