ITF campaigns for good employment conditions for drivers

A two-week global campaign to demand proper wages and good employment conditions for drivers was marked by the International Transport Federation (ITF) in Accra at the weekend.

The campaign, dubbed: “Sensitisation and Recruitment Caravan,” which created public awareness attracted drivers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) such as Ghana, Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin, Togo, Nigeria, and Mali.

Addressing the affiliate member countries, Mr Emmanuel Amstrong Mensah, Vice President of the ITF said the programme was to sensitise governments, employers and employees on the need to ensure that drivers in the West African Sub-region were adequately provided with benefits to become socially protected.

He said social protection formed an integral part of the Decent Work Agenda introduced by the International Labour Organisation to draw attention to the plight of workers who were not socially protected.

Mr Mensah said the decent work agenda was to ensure a decent livelihood, equal treatment and opportunities, good working conditions, health and safety and access to meaningful and productive work for drivers.

He said the road transport sector that employed about 80 per cent of the workforce in most countries was characterised by unclear regulations which governed the relationship between employers and employees, making it difficult for any form of collective agreement to take place.

He said the launch was to bring all stakeholders together to speed up the issues raised and to help ameliorate the situation and focus on road transport workers to motivate them to contribute to the development of their nations.

Commenting on the spate of accidents and its effect on the economy, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Rtd) (ASP) Victor Tandoh, of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) said his outfit had intensified education on safety measures for all road users as a way of reducing the carnage.

He said the NRSC had collaborated with various transport unions to enforce road traffic regulations to ensure that commercial drivers strictly complied with the laws.

He said what was more surprising was that most accidents that killed people happened on good roads, adding drunk driving, wrongful overtaking, bad eye sights, mobile phone usage, overloading and pedestrian carelessness, were all factors to the challenges facing the nation.

ACP Tandoh said a detailed analysis of the road accident statistics showed that 42 per cent of persons killed annually were pedestrians and 70 per cent men, rendering many women in the society premature widows and others disabled for life.

He urged transport unions and other stakeholders to take the necessary measures to reduce the carnage on the roads.

Mr Kofi Asamoah, Secretary-General of the Trade Union Congress urged road transport unions to organise all floating drivers into their fold and think about how they could standardise their working conditions and disabuse their minds about reckless practices, which could cause deaths of innocent passengers and pedestrians.

Source: GNA

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