They also stressed the need for countries in the Sub-region to engage in dialogue with institutions, such as the Economic Commission for West African States (ECOWAS) employers’ associations to lead to the signing of a collective bargaining agreement for road transport workers to improve their working conditions.
The call was contained in a communiqué issued by participants from 12 countries of the West African Sub-region on Global Strategy in the Road Transport Sector seminar in West Africa and signed by Mr Emmanuel Amstrong Mensah, Vice President of the ITF.
“In view of the problems such as lack of regulations on the working conditions, multiplicity of check points, harassment of drivers which often cost delay in the delivery of some goods, attacks on drivers and disrespect for their dignity by Police and law enforcing agents and high fuel prices, there is the need to establish a West African Regional Agreement on the minimum standards for a long distance road transport workers along the corridors,” the communiqué said.
It contended that poor conditions of the roads and other lanes that often caused traffic accidents, proliferation of unions which undermines solidarity and unity of action as advocated by the ITF and lack of social dialogue both national and sub-regional levels, were other important issues of focus.
“There is the need for an ambitious action plan to address the challenges at the sub-regional levels, and identify the priorities of the ITF to enable unions negotiate demands related to minimum standards at national level, build capacity and leadership role of the committees of union representatives to engage in dialogue and coordinate bargaining campaigns,” the communiqué said.
Participants reaffirmed their strong commitment to addressing problems along the corridors in West Africa with the view of strengthening road transport workers’ unions and widening their memberships base as well as drafting and signing their respective collective bargaining agreements, the communiqué concluded.