Gas Tanker Drivers’ Association calls off strike action
The Gas Tanker Drivers’ Association has called off its strike two days after it declared the action.
The decision to embark on the industrial action was announced in Tema last Wednesday, when Alabi Sunday, National Vice Chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers’ Union (GNPTDU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) said the union backed the decision by the Gas Tanker Drivers’ Association to park their Bulk Road Vehicles (BRVs) over unresolved concerns that the NPA had failed to address.
Charging the drivers to stand by their position, saying: “The national union is solidly behind you,” Mr Sunday gave a condition: “If by Monday we do not see any action by the NPA to address the issues, we will have no other option than to declare a strike in solidarity with the aggrieved members of the Gas Tanker Drivers’ Association.”
Two days after the resolved decision by the drivers, The Chronicle gathered that officials of
the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), led by Esther Anku, National Security Officials and Kwaku Agyemang-Duah, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies and Chairman of the (CRM) Implementation Committee met with the Gas Tanker Drivers’ Association and GNPTDU to agree on the latter’s demands.
The crunch meeting was chaired by Agyemang-Duah.
At the meeting, a member of the drivers’ union told The Chronicle that the NPA has agreed to print Unified Petroleum Price Fund (UPPF) document which had become an avenue of extortion bythe police in Central and Western Regions.These would be attached to the drivers’ waybill to stop the harassment by the police.
Besides, the NPA requested the tanker drivers to furnish them with the list of all newly built LPG stations which had been embargoed for opening.
The proposal by the NPA was taken in good faith by the tanker drivers, hence, their decision to call off their strike.
At a brief demonstration in Tema last Wednesday, the Gas Tanker Drivers’ Association noted that the NPA’s decision to ban newly constructed stations from operating had halted the wider penetration of LPG in the country.
The embargo, they explained, was also restricting job opportunities for them as LPG tanker drivers in that, the availability of stations to receive LPG products increased their employability and trips.
According the drivers, the development had put undue pressure and negatively impacting on their working conditions.
The aggrieved drivers called on the NPA to lift the embargo immediately and process all such other station application for operation.
Moses Kwaku Otoo, who is the Industrial Relations Officer for the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU), said the drivers would not resume operation until their grievances were addressed.
He said it was about time the NPA acted right by making sure that undue pressure on stakeholders in the downstream sector were lessened.
He said the drivers had written letters to the various stakeholders but all to no available.
On his part, Chairman of the Gas Tanker Drivers’ Association, Shafiu Mohammed said over 1,000 tanker drivers would not move their BRVs until NPA saw the need to address their grievances.The actions by the drivers pricked the NPA to hold the critical meeting with the aggrieved drivers at its head office last Friday to prevent any severe shortage of LPG nationwide.