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Regional News of Monday, 9 July 2012

Source: GNA

Tanker drivers embark on sit-down strike in Takoradi

The Ghana Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union (GPTDU) in the Western and Central regions on Monday embarked on a sit-down strike over the deplorable roads to oil installations in Takoradi.

The Chairman of GPTDU, Mr. Henry Kwame Bobie Ansah said the road leading to the Goil Petroleum and Cirrus Oil Services installations in Takoradi where fuel are lifted to Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) outlets, had developed deep potholes posing serious risk to the tankers.

Mr. Ansah told the Ghana News Agency in Takoradi that fuel is a highly inflammable product and that in case of an accident, there could be a serious disaster which may lead to loss of lives and property.

“That is why we have been complaining since last year to the Urban Roads to repair the gaping potholes, especially the one at the entrance of the link road towards the oil installations of Goil and Cirrus Oil Services in Takoradi to avert imminent disaster,“ he noted.

Mr. Ansah indicated that 80 tanker drivers from Western and Central regions while 30 others from other regions had laid down their tools indefinitely.

The GPTDU Chairman said the Union had petitioned the Urban Roads, the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) about the strike.

The strike action would have rippling effects on fuel supply to OMCs and BDCs such as Cirrus Oil Services, Goil Petroleum, Star Oil, Total Petroleum and Galaxy Oil.

“Others to be affected include Shell Ghana Limited, Holman AP Oil and Champion Oil since the tanker drivers would not lift fuel for them.”

Consequently, commercial and private vehicles as well as mining companies’ machines for mining would not get fuel to work and that would gravely affect productivity in this country, Mr. Ansah observed.

The Secretary of the GPTDU, Mr. Michael Okornoe, said even though the strike action is non-violent, its rippling effects would be severely felt by the public, adding that, “If people do not get vehicles to go to work how would they live normal lives”?, he questioned.

Residents of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis in recent times have been demonstrating against bad roads in the metropolis, which had worsened with the onset of the rainy season.

A recent demonstration by the Kokompe artisans in Takoradi became violent, resulting in the firing of tear gas by the police, with injuries and people being admitted at the various health facilities.**

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