The Director of Industrial Relations of the Ghana Public Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Abass Imoro, has questioned why commercial drivers are treated in a manner which does not help their business.
Speaking on the 15 pesewas reduction in petroleum prices by government, Abass Imoro insinuated that drivers should be heard whenever they voice out concerns since their business plays a major role in the nation. He stated that they are the “first call to national development” because they “pick workers to work and after that pick them back home”.
“Why should we be treated this way? We are not saying we should be talking for other citizens to keep quiet. We want everybody to get involved and make sure government will listen to us.”Abass Imoro
Touching on his initial reaction to the reduction, Mr. Imoro averred that it was shocking looking at the percentage by which the government reduced the petroleum prices. According to him, the drivers were expecting a GHS2 reduction per litre and not 15 pesewas as has been announced.
“All drivers in this country including private owners were shocked. We the commercial and professional drivers have been buying in large quantity to work and we expect to get very meaningful return out of what we do.”Abass Imoro
Abass Imoro described the 15 pesewas reduction as woefully inadequate. He indicated that due to this, GPRTU definitely will have to revisit its upward adjustment in fares. He posited that if the situation doesn’t get any better moving forward, all professional drivers will stop driving and resort to other means of livelihood. “What kind of business is this?”
“You can’t get three meals out of the business we are doing. You can’t save anything for a child if you have been blessed with a brilliant one who even qualifies for the University. Where are you going to get money to cater for your child?”Abass Imoro
High occupancy vehicles more disadvantaged
Explaining further the plight of commercial drivers, Abass Imoro stated that drivers who use the high occupancy vehicles are more disadvantaged because of the distances they travel. He cited an example that if even a Taxi Driver uses 5 gallons a day, he will make less than GHS4 from the 15 pesewas reduction. “Look at the Trotro drivers sweating and at the end of the day, you can’t even get 10 cedis from this 15 pesewas.”
“After three days or more staying comfortably at Peduase Lodge, just to come out with this 15 pesewas? I wouldn’t sit here to say it’s an insult because I am referring to elders but if you think about it [the reduction]…?”Abass Imoro
According to him, fuel controls most of the items on the market in the country from food stuff to the tiniest of items because they all have to be transported from one place to the other. “For you to come out with this woeful 15 percent reduction which is not going to last; it is going to last for some short two to three months. Who even knows that tomorrow fuel prices are going to be adjusted upward again?”
Mr. Abass Imoro revealed that the Union will be sitting from Monday to Tuesday to readjust the prices and take further action. He stated that if the Union is to increase beyond the proposed 15 percent it will. He disclosed the 15 pesewas reduction in fuel prices will not deter GPRTU’s decision to increase transport fares.
“The 15 percent increment that we wrote to the Transport Ministry which has not been replied as we speak now, is what we are going to go with. We will sit and see if maybe we are going to consider something small out of this 15 pesewas.”Abass Imoro
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