GPRTU direct drivers to suspend strike and go back to work

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The Ghana Private Road and Transport Union (GPRTU) has directed its members to suspend the ongoing strike and resume operations immediately.

The directive comes barely six hours after the union’s leadership was invited to a meeting with President Nana Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House on Monday morning.

A statement signed by GPRTU General Secretary Godfred Abulbire revealed that “the leadership of the union has been invited to the Presidency during the course of the day”.

It said further developments would be communicated to all members.

They then urged members to return to their regular duties as they began negotiations with the appropriate authorities.

The nationwide action left many passengers stranded at the various bus stops and lorry stations across the country.

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On Monday, December 6, the drivers who are part of the Coalition of Commercial Transport Owners withdrew their services, calling for a review of taxes introduced.

The group also outlined five taxes that they said significantly pushed prices up, hence a review.

The five taxes and levies are the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levy, the Special Petroleum Tax, Energy Sector Levy, Energy Debt Recovery Levy, and the Sanitation and Pollution Levy from the pump price of petroleum products.

A statement signed by Mr Ibrahim Musah, Executive Secretary of the Joint Association of Port Transport Unions, (JAPTU) Ghana, said the Coalition directed the leadership of its affiliates to also join in the protests.

Mr Musah entreated drivers and owners of commercial transports to comply with the strike directive or face severe consequences fully.

He said the sit-down strike was the second step of their protests after operators started displaying red bands on their vehicles from 23 November 2021 to signal the government on their impending industrial action.

He added that all the various transport operators associations took a unanimous decision at a meeting held at the Ghana Trades Union Congress’ building in Accra on 22 November 2021 to protest against the “deafening silence of government in the 2022 budget statement on the removal of the five specific nuisance levies and taxes.”

The group had initially planned a series of protests in November but postponed the action ahead of the 2022 Budget and Economic Policy presentation hoping that the government would address the situation.

However, they feel nothing has changed hence the escalation of their protests to draw the government’s attention to their plight.

Currently, most oil marketing companies in Ghana sell fuel between GH¢6.60 per litre and GH¢6.90 per litre.

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