Members of the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union have threatened to embark on a sit-down strike from Thursday in protest against non-payment of salary.
According to the over 6, 000 drivers, failure of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to ensure full implementation of the Petroleum Producers Transportation Delivery Retail and Loss Control manual, which was formulated by the Energy Commission in 2004, will prevent them from working. They explained that not implementing the guidelines of the manual was having dire consequences on them, as their salaries and remunerations are not paid by transporters.
In a letter written to the Ministry of Energy ( dated May 9, 2018), titled ‘Ultimatum Letter’, the drivers are asking government to ensure all filling stations implement the guidelines by Thursday, else they will not move their vehicles.
The letter signed by the Chairman of the union, Mr. George Nyaunu, stated that “in our meeting with the President at the Jubilee House dated August 16, 2017, we were directed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to meet you to resolve the underground shortage delivery at filling stations and also the flow metre used at Bulk Oil Storage Transport (BOST).
“Secondly, as regards our salary and remuneration, Mr. Minister, several letters had been sent to your office without response. We hereby give you an ultimatum of seven days to address our grievances, else we’ll advise ourselves.”
Confirming the strike action to DAILY GUIDE in an interview, the Chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union stated that “All that we are asking is for them to implement the Energy Commission manual for our transporters to also pay us what is due us. We are asking the Minister of Energy to ensure NPA compel filling stations and BOST to implement the manual.”
According to him, since last year, the President asked the sector minister to resolve their challenges, but they are yet to be given attention by the minister and their members are seriously suffering as a result.
He continued, “We have loading and discharging procedures but it looks like the loading procedure is being implemented but the various filling stations and BOST as a whole are not using the manual and this is going against our drivers. In case of underground shortage, they debit our transporters and the transporters also debit drivers through their salaries. NPA is just not helping tanker drivers by not implementing the guidelines though they have them.”
According to him, NPA should ensure Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), filling stations and BOST use the Energy Commission manual to avoid fuel shortage in the fuel industry.
He added, “We have spoken to our members in Takoradi, Kumasi, Buipe, Tema, and other parts of the country to get ready on Thursday. If government refuses to listen to our concerns, we will put the trucks down and stop working.”
The Chairman said tanker drivers across the country would not work from Thursday, and their action may result in scarcity of petrol, diesel and kerosene. He refused to announce when the strike action would end.