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Workers on Tema Port Expansion works lay down tools

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Tema May 18, GMA—Workers of the Chinese Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) in Tema has embarked on an industrial action to back their demands for better conditions of service.

The workers who were burning with fury, on Thursday converged in front of the construction site of the Tema Harbour expansion project and chanted their demands through singing and drumming.
In addition to asking for better condition of services, they also demanded the sacking of L’aine Services Ltd., the Human Resource subcontractor in charge of their salary and welfare.
According to the workers, CHEC pays L’aine Services Ltd. well but they intend reduce the amount drastically and pay the workers less.
“How can you pay your workers 250 GhC and expect them to survive and work well,” Kenneth Mills said.
In an interview with the GNA, Mr. Mills who works with CHEC as a Laboratory Technician Assistant, said their working conditions were so poor that some of the workers could not go home after work because they did not have money for transportation.
“During break periods you will see the Chinese workers eating very good meals whilst we eat raw bread, sometimes on credit,” he said.
He also indicated that the workers were maltreated and humiliated at the slightest provocation at the hands of their Chinese employers.
Mr. Isaac Annan, an Artisan Mason with the CHEC, said the company subcontracted human resource management to L’aine Services Ltd.
According to him, the workers suspect that L’aine services Ltd. takes a huge sum of money and gives them peanuts.
He said “the Chinese force us to work and when we confronted them they said they pay us well. That was when we realized there was something fishy going on.”
Mr. Annan, who was on the demonstration grounds with his contract documents, said the authorities of CHEC were shocked when they saw the amount quoted on their contract documents by L’aine Services Ltd.
In an interview with the GNA, Mr. Titus Glover, the Deputy Minister for Transport and Member of Parliament for Tema East, said he has spoken to both management and the workers and has arranged a meeting between the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority (GPHA), CHEC, L’aine Services Ltd., the leadership of the workers to find a lasting solution to the issue.
He therefore urged the workers to back to work and wait the outcome of Monday’s meeting.

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