Following the Ministry of Aviation’s clarification that the management of the Kotoka International Airport has not been ceded to a foreign company, the Public Services Workers’ Union at the Ghana Airports Company Limited, has demonstrated against the supposed engagement of a Turkish firm, TAV-Summa Consortium, as a strategic partner for the management of the Ghana Airports Company Limited.
According to the Ministry, it is only partnering the company for the purposes of expansion.
At the time of Citi Busines News’ visit to the Kotoka International Airport on Wednesday afternoon, staff of the Ghana Airports Company Limited, numbering about 50, had massed up at a portion of the car park demanding the cancellation of the partnership.
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.
General Secretary of the Public Services Workers’ Union of the Trades Union Congress, TUC, Bernard Adjei, spoke to the media about the frustrations of the Ghana Airports Company staff.
“Sometime last year, the issue came up and it is about giving out either a part or 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 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 discussion on some proposals that have come from a private entity expressing interest in having partnership with GACL in the management of the Airport and other activities,” he added.
The Ministry of Aviation, on March 18 this year, wrote to the President, requesting for approval to facilitate the engagement of a strategic partner for the GACL to improve service delivery and expand infrastructure at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), which was later approved by the President.
But the union 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”
The Ministry has projected that the strategic partnership with TAV-Summa Consortium will come along with several other benefits to the Ghana Airports Company Limited, and also project the image of the company on the global stage.