GPRTU, PROTOA in tango over loading rights

DCOP Kwasi Mensah-Duku,  Western Regional Police CommanderCommuters at Axim in the Western Region were stranded yesterday, as the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and the Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA) were locked up in a tango, over loading rights at the Axim main lorry terminal.

As early as 7am, the Ghanaian Times learnt that GPRTU workers had blocked the main road leading to the main terminal, complaining that PROTOA members had resorted to the  use  of  small vehicles-Opel Zaphra, popularly called ‘Nzema Jet,’ that is affecting their businesses.

They further argued that equal loading schedules must be given to both groups.

For close to six hours, the confusion continued, police sources reported.

At the time of going to press, the Chairman of PROTOA, Samuel Ackah, disclosed that the unions were discussing modalities for loading at the station.

He, however, complained that GPRTU had refused to allow his members to load at Agona Nkwanta, in the Ahanta West District.

“We are resolving the main issues, but, the Agona Nkwanta loadings remain another tussle,” Mr Ackah added.

GPRTU sources could not be reached for comments.

Briefing the Ghanaian Times, the Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Olivia Ewurabena Adiku, said following recurrent problems between the two unions, which operated together, PROTOA applied to the Municipal Assembly for a space to operate on their own.

She said, the Assembly granted PROTOA’S request and gave them a temporary space where they had operated, for the past two months.

However, she revealed that on Monday, the Municipal Security Committee (MUSEC) held a meeting and decided that the two transport unions should from yesterday, operate from different locations, within the main assembly designated lorry park.

“The decision was conveyed to the two unions which were invited to the meeting. The GPRTU’s position is that the two unions should do a joint loading for the proceeds to be shared between the two unions at the close of work every day as they are using bigger cars. PROTOA rejected the offer on the grounds that they tried it several times, but it failed to work. “ASP Adiku explained.

She added that following various submissions, the meeting, therefore, concluded that the two unions should operate separately. But she said at about 4am, when PROTOA  entered the  station to  work in compliance with the MUSEC directive, GPRTU operatives blocked the  gates with their vehicles,  stalling all business.

The Police PRO said the Municipal Chief Executive, his officials and the Municipal Police Commander, Superintendent Philbert Zubaviel, about six hours to broker peace for the blockade to be removed.”

Later, Supt. Zuberveil told the Ghanaian Times that he advised the two groups to amicably resolve their own problems, adding that “they are still working on the matter”.

He assured that the situation at Axim was calm.

 

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