Tanker drivers call off strike

Some of the parked tankers at TOR

Some of the parked tankers at TOR

Members of the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union (GNPTDU) on Monday called off the strike paving the way for them to resume work.

 

This followed the signing of a document of commitment between the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), transporters (tanker owners) and GNPTDU to resolve the problem amicably.

 

The Welfare Committee Chairman of GNPTDU, Francis Ayertey disclosed this to the Ghanaian Times at the time of going to press.

 

The 4,000 members of GNPTDU on Monday commenced a sit down strike to compel the NPA to address underground short delivery at filling stations, and issues with salaries and road expenses.

 

The situation, however, degenerated into chaos when some members of the union prevented other tanker drivers from going to load fuel at the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), and police intervened amidst the firing of tear gas to disperse them.

 

Six strikers arrested by police were released later in the day, six others who sustained injuries during the confusion were treated at Narh Bita Hospital.

 

The Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) for Tema, Felix Mensah Nii Annang-La, appealed to members of the GNPTDU to call off the strike, while he met with their executives and other stakeholders to address their concerns.

 

The MCE made the appeal after securing the release of three members of GNPTDU and their bus arrested by the Tema Police for intimidating tanker drivers who went to load fuel at the Tema Oil Refinery earlier in the day.

 

Mr Mensah promised to ensure that the issues were fully addressed in line with directives given by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo when he met the union and other stakeholders in August 2017.

 

He said: “You cannot strike forever, your concerns have been adequately communicated by the media, what remains is the solution.”

 

The Chairman of GNPTDU, George Nyaunu, thanked Mr Mensah for securing the release of his members along with their bus, and explained that, “the strike was meant to be peaceful, but unfortunately a National Security Operative at TOR, called Mr Tetteh pulled out a rifle and threatened to fire during the strike, and that provoked the crowd.”

 

According to him, since he started driving tanker at TOR, nobody had raised a gun at the area, “because if one is not careful it could lead to an explosion in view of the volatile substances within the refinery environment,” and called for the removal of Mr Tetteh from TOR for safety reasons.

 

The union indicated that it needed documentary evidence that its concerns would be addressed before it called of the strike.

FROM GODFRED BLAY GIBBAH, TEMA

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