Contracta terminates appointments of 1,500 workers in Kumasi
About 1,500 workers employed for the construction of the Kumasi Central Market, Kumasi International Airport and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital’s Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) have had their appointments terminated by their employers, Contracta of Brazil.
The development commenced in December 2022 when work stalled at the three construction sites.
From December 2022, the firm started the termination of appointment on monthly batches, in accordance with the Labour Act, that affected 1,500 staff.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, who facilitated a loan for the project, is reported to have been informed of the development.
A management member of the company, speaking on condition of anonymity, disclosed to some selected journalists that all the affected staff were given one month’s notice of termination of appointment followed by compensation package.
“Management didn’t want to violate the country’s labour laws so we followed every step including medical check out. This is not something we intended to do but the situation forced us to do that,” the source said,
He disclosed that the Kumasi Airport phase 2 projects, which was about 95 per cent completed, and left with the installation of gadgets, control towers, and extension of runways and demolishing of existing structures, were on hold due to lack of funds to facilitate the completion of the entire project.
He explained that “the project has been affected by the ongoing government debt restructure programme. Government, I mean the Finance Minister has suspended external payment”.
So the UK government responsible for funding the project, has stopped releasing funding to us to work on the project. We are ready to work but we don’t have money to pay workers and buy materials, so that’s the problem we are facing at the moment…so the Asantehene, who facilitated the loan through Prince Charles, has been put in the known of the situation to do something about it,” the source claimed.
The sod-cutting for the Central Market project was held on May 2, 2019 by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in the company of the Asantehene, and was scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2024.
“We can’t meet the deadline for the traders to come and trade in the Central Market. This is because the former Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive failed to relocate the traders on time for the project to start as we wanted,” the source added.
Another source also confirmed to the Ghanaian Times that Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, had been briefed on the situation at the three sites due to the funding challenges.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI#