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Tanker drivers declare nationwide strike over conditions of service 

The Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union has declared a nationwide strike over the delay in the implementation of the condition of the service framework. 

The executive of the union, led by its National Chairman, Mr George Nyaunu, declared the strike after the expiration of a two-week ultimatum issued to the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) on April 26, 2024. 

According to the union, all its 10,000 members, comprising 5000 drivers and 5000 mates in all its branches in Bolga, Buipe, Kumasi, Takoradi and Atiabo are to embark on an indefinite sit-down strike. 

Mr. Nyahunu said the petroleum industry was a very crucial component of every nation’s development and it was, therefore, necessary to allow all stakeholders to operate on a level playing field.  

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He said on August 16, 2017, the executives of the union met with President Akufo-Addo to discuss the multifaceted challenges confronting their members in the petroleum downstream sector on their conditions of service. 

He said subsequently, a series of stakeholders’ meetings were held and a proposal was tabled to segregate the diver’s and mates’ margin allocated to transporters within the unified petroleum price fund (UPPF) margin, thereby facilitating direct remuneration of its members by the NPA, adding that the said directive was not followed through. 

“Following a series of threats of strike actions by our members, this issue came up again in 2023 under the leadership of Hon. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the current Minister of Energy and the Chief Executive of NPA, Dr Mustapha Abdul Hamid as part of their efforts to come to an amicable solution to this age-old problem, the (NPA) constituted a multi-stakeholder committee chaired by the deputy chief executive of NPA, Mr Curtis Perry Okudzeto.” 

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He said the committee, which comprised representatives from all stakeholders, was tasked with formulating a comprehensive conditions of service framework for drivers and mates, adding that after six months of rigorous deliberations, the proposed framework garnered unanimous agreement and endorsement from all members of the committee. 

According to the union, “Despite the concerted efforts and patience of our members, the implementation hit a snag with the assumption of office of the new Board of the (AOMC). The new leadership of the association stated at a meeting that their representative on the committee did not have the authority to agree with the conditions of service framework, a position we find untenable.” 

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They called on the government and the relevant authorities to intervene expeditiously and facilitate the resolution of these challenges to ensure the prompt implementation of the condition of the service framework for tanker drivers and their mates. 

They said the implementation of the framework would not only alleviate the burden on the workers but also foster enhanced stability and growth within the country’s petroleum downstream sector. 

“The two-week ultimatum given has elapsed as we speak now, we are in the third week. Tanker drivers cannot wait any further, therefore from today we are putting our tools down until the NPA board approves the implementation of the framework,” they stressed.  

Source: GNA 

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