Aggrieved members of the National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union have embarked on a sit-down strike.
The strike according to the Chairman of the Drivers Union, George Nyaunu is because the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has failed to address their concerns.
He said although drivers are ready to work, the Union needs a written document from the NPA to show its commitment to the concerns raised by the drivers’ union.
“We gave an ultimatum of 48 hours and it ended yesterday but as law-abiding people, we received a call from a high office for an emergency meeting which we attended yesterday. And it was concluded that our challenges will be addressed immediately and that we should return to work. But this isn’t the first time such assurances have been given.”
“This started in 2017 and nothing has been done about it. They gave assurances that a signed agreement will be sent to us today at 10 am but it has not been done. So we are not working from now until the written document is sent to us.”
Demands of the tanker drivers
The fuel tanker drivers held a press conference on Monday, October 19, 2020, to complain about some issues affecting them and demanded government’s intervention.
They among other things complained about police harassment at checkpoints and NPA’s lack of adherence to a 2017 memorandum of understanding signed by stakeholders on condition of service for tanker drivers and their mates.
They also complained about the non-compliance of transit losses and refusal of the depot operators to abide by the 20 degrees Celsius loading temperature requirement.
The tanker drivers also gave government a 24-hour ultimatum to have their issues addressed.
NPA, however, absolved itself from blame.
NPA also invited the National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union and the General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union (GTPCWU) for a meeting to deliberate on concerns raised by the Union.
In September 2020, tanker drivers operating at the Buipe depot in the Savannah Region declared an indefinite strike over the refusal of the management of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport (BOST) to fix malfunctioning loading metres at the depot.
Months earlier, the drivers kicked against the implementation of the new Electronic Cargo Tracking System by the National Petroleum Authority.
The Electronic Cargo Tracking System and the National Command Centre from the National Petroleum Authority was launched in Accra in January 2020 to improve the efficiency of NPA in the monitoring of Bulk Roads Vehicles nationwide and also check illicit activities associated with the transportation of petroleum products across the country.
But the drivers threatened to strike if the implementation is not suspended.