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General News of Saturday, 22 February 2020


Suspend your planned strike – NLC to Aayalolo drivers

Parked Aayalolo buses Parked Aayalolo buses

The National Labour Commission (NLC) has asked drivers of Aayalolo to halt its quest to stage a sit down strike on Monday.

According to the commission, there are better alternative that can get their requests granted rather than seeking to embark on strike.

The bus drivers intended strike stems out of their employer, Greater Accra Passenger Transport Executive’s (GAPTE), for failing to pay them their 8-month salary arrears.

The salaries are arrears between 2017 and 2018.

In December 2019, the drivers declared an indefinite sit-down strike to protest over deplorable conditions of service and this left many passengers stranded at their bus terminals.

The drivers later on aborted the action after a meeting with the NLC and GAPTE where resolutions were agreed upon.

Their new threat to embark on the strike is based their employer’s failure to make payments promised at the last resolution.

But the Executive Secretary of the National Labour Commission (NLC) Ofosu Asamoah said the drivers should consider writing to the NLC about their grievances to allow the NLC compel GAPTE to pay them.

“Whenever the commission gives a decision in your favour where there are timelines and they have not been complied with, you need to come back to the Commission either by a letter or you walk in and fill a complaint form.”

“We have an enforcement department that makes sure that the ruling is complied with. There is no need for the strike. They [Aayalolo drivers] only have to come and tell us that their employers are not complying with the decision and we will go and compel the party,” he said.

GAPTE intervention

The Greater Accra Passenger Transport Executive (GAPTE) reportedly applied for a bailout from the government to help it pay for the cost of fuel, salaries and other operational expenses, but the Ministry of Transport turned down the request.

Patronage of the buses was quite high when the service began in 2016, but it started dwindling six months afterwards from the expected 12,000 passengers per day to 9,000.

Patronage on a daily basis ranged between 9,000 and 10,000 on the Amasaman-Ofankor-Achimota-Accra Central Business District (CBD) corridor.

Aside from the low patronage, drivers of the Aayololo buses have embarked on a series of strikes over unpaid salaries.