The Gas Tanker Drivers Association and Petrol Tanker Unions have expressed worry about the ban on the construction of new Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) stations and on stations already under construction and at various stages of development, saying, it has adversely affected most of its employers.
The tanker drivers, who began a sit-down strike from today, August 1st, 2022, in a statement, demanded an immediate lifting of the ban on stations which were already under construction before the imposition of the ban in 2017, and subsequent lifting of the ban on construction of new LPG stations.
According to them, the ban on the construction of new LPG outlets, among others, have affected their working conditions.
“Most of them had borrowed to invest in the construction of these stations before 2017. These investments by indigenous Ghanaian investors amount to not less than $10 million, or approximately ¢85 million. But with the imposition of the ban, these investments have been abandoned and are wasting away at various sites across the country for the past five years,” it stressed in consultation with the LPG Marketers Association and the Ghana LPG Operators Association.
“Most of these investments were done with loans contracted with banks in the country. This has put these investors under undue pressure from the banks to repay the loans at very high interest rates, to the extent that some of our employers are being pursued through the courts and their assets being confiscated to defray these loans,” it mentioned.
“Consequently, our employers refer to this dormant investments as the main reason why they are unable to review our salaries. Again, the authorities have over the years given assurances of the lifting of the ban but nothing has been done up to now,” he added.
Poor working conditions
The tanker drives also expressed sadness that most tanker drivers are not paid regular salaries.
“Also, where salaries are being paid, the monies being paid are meagre and incommensurate with the workload of the ordinary Tanker Driver. We have complained and taken industrial actions on many occasions in the search for redress. Unfortunately, on every occasion, we are given assurances and promises that our concerns will be addressed,” they pointed out.
The assurances and promises, they said, are always either forgotten or ignored as soon as they call off their action.
Unfair treatment of petroleum tanker drivers by BOST and NPA
With the introduction of seals and tracking devices on petroleum tankers, the tanker drivers said they are suffering from some unfair treatments by the authorities.
These unfair treatments come in the form of wrong accusations of tampering with seals and punishing a whole group of drivers for the alleged offense of one Tanker Driver. “This is most unfair!” it described.
Also, the tanker drivers said the tracking system is being used to punish drivers and transporters for even a mandatory Health and Safety requirement as to stop and rest after every four hours of driving.
“Every stop during transportation is viewed and characterized as diversion, to be followed by punitive sanctions. We, therefore, demand that this unjust and unfair treatment ceases immediately,” it added.