Commercial drivers threaten another strike over fuel prices

The Coalition of Private Road Transport Operators has warned of a possible strike on Monday, November 29, 2021 if their calls on government to reduce fuel prices are unheeded.

The group, in a statement, after a crunch meeting, resolved that “from Tuesday November 23, 2021, all commercial vehicles must tie red bands on their vehicles in protest of the high prices of fuel.”

“If by Sunday, November 28, 2021 fuel prices are not reduced then on Monday November 29, 2021 the strike will start earnestly,” Alhaji Moro Abass, Industrial Relations Officer, Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), said in the statement copied to the Ghana News Agency.

The Unions, on Tuesday, November 9, gave the government an ultimatum to reduce taxes on fuel, threatening to ground all commercial vehicles by 1500 hours Thursday, November 11, 2021.

They, however, put the intended strike on hold following a meeting with the Transport Ministry.

Mr Godfred Abulbire, Secretary to the Coalition, earlier this month told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that there had been an unending surge in the pump prices of petroleum products in Ghana in recent months.

He said taxes, levies and margins on petroleum products were the main causes of the continuous rise in the prices of fuel.

Mr Abulbire, also the General Secretary of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), pointed out that the effects of the high taxes on fuel were being borne by commercial transport operators.

“The removal of some of the taxes and levies is key to our concerns, including the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levy, Energy Debt Recovery Levy, Fuel Marking Margin, and Special Petroleum Tax. They are the sole cause of the price build up and must be scrapped to let fuel prices come down,” he said.

He expressed disappointment at government’s refusal to meet their demands when it had the opportunity to do so in the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy presented by the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta to Parliament.

The General Secretary reiterated calls on government to scrap the taxes, levies and margins on the price build-up as the incessant increase in the price of fuel was collapsing their businesses.

The coalition of private transport operators consists of GPRTU, Association of Tipper Truck Drivers, Harbour Transport Owners, Ghana National Cargo Transport Association, and Ghana Committed Drivers Association.

The rest are Concerned Drivers Association, Digital Drivers, Commercial motorbike riders, popularly referred to as ‘Okada’, and the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers.

Source: GNA

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