TOR: Cops fire teargas to disperse striking tanker drivers

A planned sit-down strike by members of the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union (GNPTDU) on Monday, 24 September turned chaotic as police fired teargas to disperse a chaotic scene caused by the drivers who had massed up at the Tema Oil Refinery...


A planned sit-down strike by members of the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union (GNPTDU) on Monday, 24 September turned chaotic as police fired teargas to disperse a chaotic scene caused by the drivers who had massed up at the Tema Oil Refinery.

The Public Relations Officer of the Tema Regional Police Command told the media on Monday that: “We came in to maintain peace and order, you can see that this property is a very important interface and as the protesters decide to get closer to the facility, then there was the need for us to, as it were, push them back or get them away; that’s why we had to fire teargas to disperse them.”

The PRO indicated that three persons have been arrested so far and reiterated the commitment of the police to protect lives and property.

“We are not going to leave the place until everything has calmed down. It is our mandate to protect lives and property and that is exactly what we’re doing here. Importantly, we’ll protect the facility and we’ll make sure nobody gets there and, so, we’ll remain here until everything is over.”

He added: “As soon as they decided to move to the facility, then there was the need to disperse them, so, if they can stay at where they are peacefully, we have no problem, but we’ll continue to be here to make sure we maintain peace and order.”

Members of the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union (GNPTDU) on Monday withdrew their services over what they described as the National Petroleum Authority’s (NPA) failure to address their concerns.

The drivers, numbering over 4,000, said they will park their tankers until the NPA addresses their concerns relating to their conditions of service and welfare.

They have been protesting the regulator’s failure to ensure the full implementation of the Petroleum Producers Transportation Delivery Retail and Loss Control Manual, which was formulated by the Energy Commission in 2004, a situation they say has resulted in loss of earnings.

They further explained that not implementing the guidelines stipulated in the manual, was having dire consequences on them, as their salaries and remunerations are not paid by transporters.

A petition by the union to the Ministry of Energy, has urged the government to ensure all fuel stations implement the guidelines.

Chairman of the Union, George Nyauno, speaking to Class News, said they will only return to work if the NPA acts on their demands.



Source: Ghana/ClassFMonline.com/91.3FM



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