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Tanker drivers’ strike must be resolved immediately to avert fuel shortage – AOMC

Source The Ghana Report

The Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC) has expressed deep concern regarding the strike action by the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union (GNPTDU) in respect of the proposed Driver and Mate remuneration framework.

It warned that the situation could lead to a serious crisis which would result in fuel shortage if the impasse is not resolved immediately.

The association said it has made persistent attempts to address the concerns of the GNPTDU, acknowledging the critical role of tanker drivers in the petroleum supply chain.

“However, repeated efforts by the AOMC to engage with the leadership of GNPTDU to address their concerns have unfortunately been unsuccessful. The extensive efforts made to amicably address the issues, including seeking the intervention of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have been unsuccessful”, a statement signed by the Chief Executive of the AOMC, Dr. Riverson Oppong said.

It explained that AOMC members, who operate a significant portion of the tanker fleet are heavily reliant on the drivers.

“Therefore, if the remuneration issue remains unresolved, a strike action could disproportionally impact our members who own and operate about 50% of the country’s tankers. The scenario could compel them to defect from the Drivers Union altogether”, it said.

“The AOMC would like to clarify that the responsibility for determining and paying employee remuneration lies with the employer being the respective Tanker Owners and not the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) as the proposed framework seeks to do. It is purely an employer/employee relation guided by the labour laws of Ghana”, it added.

The association pointed out that the NPA’s role is primarily regulatory, focusing on ensuring compliance with industry standards and regulations.

The statement emphasized that compensation matters fall under the administrative purview of the employer being the Petroleum Service Providers.

“Hence, NPA does not have legal nor administrative capacity to take up this role from employers of these drivers as the proposed framework in its current form seeks to do”.

Preferring some solutions, the association said, it has asked the tanker drivers’ union to furnish it with names of employers not paying their workers.

“To address the issue effectively and based on the drivers’ statement that a percentage of their members do not receive remuneration from their employers, the AOMC has requested for a list of OMCs that are reportedly defaulting on their compensation obligations towards their employees (Drivers)”.

“We appreciate that verifying specific instances of unpaid drivers is crucial and thus, we encourage the GNPTDU to share any information they may have regarding drivers who have not received proper remuneration to enable the AOMC assist in addressing same”, it added.

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