LPG Tanker Drivers Divided Over Strike
There are reports of a partial shortage of LPG products over the weekend, especially in pockets of places around Accra and Takoradi in the Western region, following a decision some aggrieved tanker drivers to down their tools over industry-related issues, including their welfare.
The union some weeks ago at a press conference accused officials of the NPA, of conniving with some Police officers to harass them on the roads.
The drivers also wanted approval for more than 80 applications submitted to the NPA to enable them construct LPG station.
Again, they claim their welfare issues have been ignored, a situation which has forced some of them to hit on hard times.
But the NPA in a response refuted some of the claims and put out evidence which suggests series of meetings had taken place over the issue which the driver union actively participated.
After the release, the NPA, AOMC, LPG marketers, Tanker owners and the drivers met, to discuss the issues and find a resolution to the impasse. Another meeting also took place with the Police hierarchy to address the issue of harassment. A source told Starrfm.com.gh that assurances were given in that regard by a senior police personnel, who said any of their men who misconduct themselves in this regard will be dealt with.
But a source at the meeting says the latest partial strike has come as a surprise to some of them, including some drivers, who believe their concerns are already being addressed, one after the other.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source says the partial strike is the insistence of the NPA to follow the rules governing the granting of construction permits, which some of the leadership of the drivers union are not interested in.
“ They have already being granted license for 11 stations, but it appears they want more, which is not even right especially when one considers that cabinet in 2017 temporarily suspended the issuance of construction permits, while the NPA looks at the safety concerns being raised by the public,” says the source.
“These drivers and their collaborators want the regulator to bend the safety rules so they can have their way but should the unfortunate happen, it is the public that will be impacted.”
Documents available indicate that some leaders of the LPG tanker drivers had even constructed stations without obtaining the required permits from the appropriate agencies, but are seeking for approval to be given them.
“Is it the money they want at the expense of public safety,? An aggrieved driver who is not in support of the strike asked.
There are also suspicions that the strike is being used to push government to bend the safety rules because of the upcoming elections.