GPRTU disassociates itself from concerned drivers’ strike

Emmanuel Ankrah
Emmanuel Ankrah
The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has rejected claims that it is joining a proposed nationwide strike to be staged by members of a group calling itself Ghana Concerned Drivers Association against government plan to roll out the Bus Rapid Transit Service (BRTS) which some say will see the removal of some commercial drivers from their current lorry stations in the capital, Accra.
The proposed nationwide strike by the Ghana Concerned Drivers Association (GCDA) is scheduled to take effect from Monday, 19th September, 2016.
The Concerned Drivers Association on Thursday September 15, 2016, organized a press conference in Accra to register their displeasure over government’s decision to roll out the Bus Rapid Transit Service which they claimed will disadvantage them.
Chairman of the Association, Charles Danso at the press conference said “this impending action has become necessary following what we consider as events inimical to our work as commercial drivers and members of the Ghana Committed Drivers Association.”
But the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of GPRTU, Mr. Emmanuel Ankrah in an interview with journalists at his office vehemently rubbished the claim describing it as a mere “rumor”.
He further stated that he is not even aware of the existence of any group within the transportation industry known as the Ghana Concerned Drivers Association, let’s alone aware of their intention to embark on any strike action.
The GPRTU boss noted that Government has not written officially to his outfit on the issue of relocating commercial drivers at Kwame Nkrumah Circle to the new Achimota Lorry Station while commercial drivers operating from the Tema Station to the Hearts Park in Accra, and the 37 Military Lorry Station to be moved to the Kawukudi Park at Maamobi as being speculated by the group.
“Government will not just come and remove us from the New Tema Station terminal to the Hearts Park and bring the new buses here because that place was given to us by the government since 1992 and at the end of the day even if he wants to take it away from us, he’ll just notify us as we know him to be doing,” he said.
He therefore called on all commercial drivers in the country to turn deaf ears  to such ‘erroneous claims’ being circulated and desist from taking part in any illegal  strike likely to be staged by the  so-called  Concerned Drivers Association.
For his part William Ocquaye, Chairman of New Tema Station Welfare also doubted the existence of the Ghana Concerned Drivers Association.
Though he said he has sighted the new buses currently situated at the Achimota Terminal plying Achimota to Accra including Adenta to Accra, he is not aware of any plans to relocate the drivers.
Meanwhile Chairman of the New Town Branch of GPRTU, Hope Ahiamadzi has expressed confidence in government that it will continue to protect the welfare of drivers by taking only positive decision that will inure to the benefit of commercial drivers in the country.
He maintained that sentiments being expressed by GCDA do not reflect the opinions of the recognized transport Unions in the country such as GPRTU, PROTOA, Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council and others.
He therefore appealed to government to come out openly on the issue to bring closure to the confusion.
By Joseph Kobla Wemakor | | Ghana

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