Tanker drivers continue industrial action
The leaders of the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union say they will call off the two-day strike by the union over low remunerations only if the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) agrees to develop and implement a road map to address their grievances.
The Chairman of the union, Mr George Teye Nyaunu, made this known when the Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Felix Nii Anang-La, called on the group yesterday to persuade them to end the strike.
The leadership of the General Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union (GPCWU), the mother union of the group, last Monday called off the strike following a meeting with the NPA, the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs), the Tanker Owners Union, among other stakeholders.
Members of the tanker drivers union last Monday clashed with the police during a melee when they prevented members of a rival union, the LPG Tanker Drivers Association, who were at TOR to cart liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for distribution.
They hurled stones at the vehicles of the LPG group when the police deployed to the scene to maintain law and order fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse them. Two persons were injured in the process.
Their action was further fuelled by the arrest of three of their members yesterday following accusations levelled against them by a National Security operative attached to the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), whose name was given as W/O Tetteh.
He is said to have accused the three — the General Secretary of the union, Mr Francis Omar; a trustee, Mr Solomon Addo, and a driver, Mr Yussuf Fatau — of intimidating some of their members who wished to cart petroleum products from the refinery for distribution.
It took the intervention of the MCE for Tema to secure bail for the three, after they were made to sign bonds to be of good behaviour.
When the Daily Graphic visited the office of the union near the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), hundreds of drivers sat in groups discussing the situation and occasionally chanted songs of defiance, while urging their leadership not to compromise until all issues were addressed.
Scores of empty bulk road vehicles (BRVs) used for the transportation of petroleum products by the drivers were seen parked in a yard near TOR, with some having red bands hung on them.
Mr Anang-La pleaded with the group to resume work today to avert any shortage of petroleum products across the country.
The MCE also assured the group he would follow up on the issue with the NPA and the Ministry of Energy to ensure that their grievances were addressed.