The Toll Workers Association have urged government to re-introduce toll collection in the country and recall all its workers.
According to the association, even though it was stated in the 2022 budget that those who worked at the various Toll Plazas were going to be given alternate livelihoods, not a single person has been offered such a relief. It noted that neither have the laid-off workers been re-assigned a year after the assurance was given.
Contained in a statement dated November 17, 2022, it explained that promises made by the Minister for Roads and Highways Akwasi Amoako Atta, on all three occasions that they will be given a monthly allowance whilst they wait to be re-assigned, has also not been forthcoming since January 2022.
This, the association emphasized, has brought untold hardship to its members, especially, in these difficult economic times.
“We therefore call on government as a matter of urgency, to Re-Introduce Toll Collection and recall all of us who lost our livelihoods by this action back to work so we can live in dignity and also contribute our quota to national development.”Toll Workers Association
Additionally, the group emphatically stated that its members have “not been paid off contrary to rumors flying around in Government circles”. It highlighted that the reason given by the Hon Finance Minister for which toll collection was zero rated is not strong enough grounds that should cause about 800 of the citizens to lose their Jobs and Livelihood in this manner.
“We would also like to use this opportunity to call on Civil Society including our Revered Chiefs and Religious Leaders of all faiths, to impress upon the Government to restore our dignity back by reinstating us.”Toll Workers Association
Toll workers disappointed in government
Prior to this, the General Secretary of the Toll Workers Association of Ghana, Edward Duncan, expressed disappointment in government’s seeming negligence over the state of tollbooth workers in the country.
He indicated that the Association is disappointed in the budget reading by the finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, as it failed to address the hardship endured by toll workers laid off due to the cessation of toll collection at various tollbooths in the country.
Mr Duncan noted that the Association on several occasions petitioned the minister of roads and highway to address the growing hardships among members. He highlighted that the minister in their last engagement sympathized with members although it’s been several months with no action being taken.
Justifying his stance, he explained that the private contractor, Tolls and Roads Management Limited, gave a termination letter dated the 17th of June, 2022, to workers of the tollbooths.
The group in July this year, petitioned Parliament to demand the reversal of the decision to cease collecting tolls. They also asked for the payment of their six-month salary arrears from the government.
The association stated that about 800 toll workers, who were disengaged following a directive by the government to halt the collection of tolls on roads and bridges across the country, have become impoverished.
Madam Lydia Seyram Alhassan, the Deputy Majority Whip, together with Mr Ahmed Ibrahim, Deputy Minority Whip, received the petition on behalf of Speaker Alban Bagbin and the Leadership of the House.