Francis Sallah (3rd from left), Deputy General Secretary, GTPCWU, addressing the media. With him are leaders from the various tanker operator unions
Francis Sallah (3rd from left), Deputy General Secretary, GTPCWU, addressing the media. With him are leaders from the various tanker operator unions

Tanker operators, employers reach agreement

Petroleum tanker operators have reached an agreement with their employers on a new policy framework meant to offer improved conditions of service, especially concerning remuneration.

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The adoption of the policy framework means that drivers and their assistants would from July 1, this year, start receiving their due remuneration and other enhanced working conditions.

The agreement was reached after a two-day crunch meeting facilitated by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and attended by the Tanker Owners Union (TOU), Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC), representing the employers, General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union (GTPCWU) and leadership of the tanker operator unions, representing the operators.

7-year-old disagreement

Addressing a press conference after the meeting in Accra yesterday, the Deputy General Secretary of the GTPCWU, Francis Sallah, stated that the agreement reached by the parties brought to an end a disagreement that had lingered for nearly seven years.

“We can inform you the media that within the last two days, parties from both sides have been in a meeting deliberating on various contents of the framework and we are almost done.

“And so, by the end of June, all tanker operators and their assistants would have their salaries paid. We want to inform you that this would be the end of the age-long struggle,” he said.

Mr Sallah said all parties, including the NPA, were determined to ensure a successful implementation of the policy framework from the end of June this year. He explained that the NPA, as a regulator, spearheaded the development and negotiation of the framework to help end the disagreement.

“The regulator brought all the stakeholders together on its premises to ensure that the disagreement between the parties is successfully resolved,” he said.   He added that the framework covered areas meant to provide enhanced conditions of service, such as remuneration, insurance, medical, safety and employer-employee relationships.

Confidence

The deputy general secretary noted that the new framework would help improve the condition of operators and their assistants who worked daily to supply petroleum products to the market.

“We are confident in the framework because all the parties involved were present in the two-day meeting. Since they have all stayed through, we cannot doubt that it would work and so we have full confidence.

“After this agreement is implemented, we are optimistic that we will not hear of incidents of tampering or stealing of products being sent to the market again,” he said. 

Background

The operators on May 23, this year, called off their sit-down strike over what they said was bad conditions of service. They announced an indefinite sit-down strike on May 21, 2024 oved condition of service, especially concerning remuneration.

However, after a meeting with all stakeholders, the tanker operators issued a communique to call off the sit-down strike. The communique stated that a framework for their remuneration had been adopted and the implementation of the framework was expected to commence by the end of June 2024.

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