The over 3,000 ex-workers of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) whose full benefits have remained unpaid since their retrenchment in 2002, have stated that government was insensitive to their plight.
“Unlike President Mills who stood by us in our plight and eventually issued a fiat to the Transport Ministry for us to be paid, President Mahama ignored several letters that we wrote to him on our issue and eventually even refused to carry out President Mills’ fiat,” Emmanuel Ghansah, one of the ex-workers alleged in a meeting at Takoradi.
According to him, it was unfortunate that government was not compassionate to their plight.
This came to light in a meeting in Takoradi convened after the ex-workers’ leader, Stephen Ashitey Adjei, was summoned from Greater Accra to update them on the Akufo-Addo government’s work on their inexplicably withheld retrenchment benefits.
Mr Ashitey Adjei, who is popularly called Moshake, informed the gathering that unlike Mahama who ignored their plight and even overlooked President Mills’ fiat for their benefits to be paid, the matter was receiving attention under President Akufo Addo’s government.
“After all, it is not as if we are asking for favours and handouts from the state; since 2002, we have been asking for what we rightfully deserve. Five of our colleagues have since been paid so why have the rest not been paid?” Moshake asked rhetorically.
“JM as MP for three terms collected all his benefits and ex-gratia, JM as Minister collected his benefits, JM as vice president got his benefits, JM as President got his benefits and JM as ex-President is getting his benefits including huge ex gratia in addition to huge monthly salaries for the rest of his life. And yet the benefits of poor ex GPHA workers have still remained unpaid, this shows people do not matter to him,” Moshake said.
He lamented that because of the non-payment of the benefits, some of the ex-workers died, some were bed-ridden with sickness, while others had lost their sanity through melancholy.
“Marriages have also broken down and children have been orphaned, but some politicians refuse to do the right thing…they only care for themselves.”
Mr Adjei added bitterly, “I have always said that this world that we are in, if you do good, you do for yourself, if you do bad, you do for yourself because God will someday examine our lives.”
The workers, numbering over 3,000 were retrenched in 2002, but have mostly remained unpaid with only five out of the total figure getting their full benefits.
In early July 2012, President Mills who was then alive issued a fiat to the Transport Ministry to sort out the workers.
However, not long after that, he unfortunately died and President Mahama, who succeeded him failed to implement the fiat till he left office in 2016.