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15.03.2006 General News

GPHA files appeal against High Court ruling


Tema, March 15, GNA - The management of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) has filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal in Accra against a Tema High Court ruling, which ordered it to pay damages totalling about 350 billion cedis to its 4,195 ex-casual workers. In an interview with the GNA at Tema on Wednesday, Mr Richard John Deih, General Manager for Legal Affairs of the GPHA said the amount involved was so huge that the GPHA could not pay.

"After calculating the damages on each person, plus the number of years served and multiplied by the number of plaintiffs involved, we get close to 350 billion cedis and this is too much for the authority to bear", he lamented.

We have therefore sought redress with an Appeal Court; however, should it turn against us again, we would continue to file appeals until we move to the Supreme Court.

Mr Deih said GPHA does not have that money to operate with, let alone paying the damages.

At a recent tour of the Tema Port by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Roads and Transport, the Director General of the GPHA, Mr Ben Owusu-Mensah appealed to parliament to save the authority from disaster, by paying the huge damages in order to sustain its operations. "The GPHA will go bankrupt should we pay this amount", he lamented. To save them from their plight, he called for a review of some aspects of the act 651 of the labour law 2003, making it mandatory to make a casual worker permanent after six months in service, as this was not in the interest of the maritime industry.

Mr Owusu-Mensah explained that by the International Labour Law, a dockworker was casual "because he is only used when there is business". The Director General said the GPHA was worried, because it was faced with the law, where it had been accused of failing to pay its casual workers as expected of permanent staff.

In January this year, some ex-casual workers jubilated at the premises of the Tema High Court, soon after judgment was passed in their favour against the GPHA. Former assemblyman calls on Ghanaians to show commitment

Abuakwa (Ash), March 15, GNA - Mr Joseph Akintola Amankwaah, former assemblyman for the Mpasaaso Number Two Electoral Area in the Ahafo-Ano South District of Ashanti, has called on Ghanaians to demonstrate their commitment towards the rapid development of the country. Speaking to the Ghana News Agency at Abuakwa on Monday, Mr Amankwaah noted that politics of division was retarding the development of the country and urged Ghanaians to reverse the trend. He called on Ghanaians to be vigilant and ensure that the democratic process was not derailed, pointing out that the country's development had been slackened because of intermittent disruptions in the governance of the country by the military. Mr Amankwaah advised Ghanaians to eschew lateness, apathy and backbiting in the society. He asked all Ghanaians to register with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for mutual benefit. 15 March 06