Gas tanker drivers on strike
The National Vice Chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers’ Union of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Alabi Sunday, says the union backs the decision of the Gas Tanker Drivers’ Association to park their Bulk Road Vehicles (BRVs) over unresolved concerns the National Petroelum Authority (NPA) has failed to address.
Charging the drivers to remain resolute on 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.”
Members of the Gas Tanker Drivers’ Association, on Wednesday, parked their BRVs over their concerns they said the NPA was ‘deliberately’ lingering in resolving.
The concerns, they mentioned, included the ban on opening newly-built LPG stations by the NPA, poor salaries, harassment and extortion by the police in Central and Western regions, and the piloting of cylinder and recirculation model policy.
At a brief presser cum peaceful demonstration in Tema, the drivers noted that the NPA’s decision to ban newly-constructed stations from operating has halted the wider penetration of liquid petroleum gas (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 increases their employability and trips.
According the drivers, the development had put undue pressure and was negatively impacting on their working conditions.
The aggrieved drivers called on the NPA to lift the embargo immediately, and process all such other station applications for operation.
Moses Kwaku Otoo, 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 was lessened.
He said the drivers had written letters to the various stakeholders, but all to no avail.
On his part, the Chairman of the Gas Tanker Drivers’ Association, Shafiu Mohammed, said over 1,000 tanker drivers would not move their BRVs until the NPA saw the need to address their grievances.