Begin work-to-action Monday
By Victor Ahiuma-Young
PETROLEUM Tanker Drivers, PTD, branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, yesterday issued an October 8, nationwide strike to the Federal Government to address three key pending issues.
The issues are deplorable federal roads across the country, Petroleum Trucks safety valves, and abuse of tonnage capacity by oil marketers and transporters.
Members had earlier scheduled a nationwide strike on March 27, 2021, but had to shelve the action after pleading and assurances by the government that the issues would be addressed.
However, seven months after, the issues have remained unresolved and unattended to by the Federal Government.
In a communique issued at the end of its Branch Executive Council, BEC, Meeting in Enugu, members resolved to begin a work-to-rule action from Monday, September 27.
A work-to-rule is a form of protest where workers go to work putting on unusual attire (black or red) or carrying leaves as a form of protest.
In the communique by National Chairman of PTD, Otunba Salmon Akanni Oladiti, said among others, “Council in session observed with grave concerns and disappointment the deplorable and shameful conditions of the Nigeria highways inspite of several calls and threats we have issued to the various layers of governments.
These highways have turned to death traps and dens of trucks highjackers for the Petroleum Tanker Drivers. Our members are losing their lives and sources of livelihood on hourly basis.
“The list of these highways are endless and Petroleum Tanker Drivers have been going through harrowing situations even while rendering selfless national services, to ensure delivery of Petroleum products to homes and factories in every nooks and crannies of this country, day and nights, in good and bad weather.”
On Trucks Safety Valve, the communique said “The Branch Executive Council in session reviewed with sadness, pains and deep worries the suspension of the ultimatum issued by the Branch Executive Council on the 27th March 2021 over the increasing rate of fire incidences involving petroleum trucks with accompanying massive destruction of lives and properties of our members and general public.
The Council in session noted with deep concerns the refusal of the Federal government to enforce the compulsory installation of Safety Valve in all Petroleum trucks to protect the inflammable contents of these trucks from spilling over in a situation of road mishaps.
“The Council in session sees the failure of the Federal government in this regard as height of insensitivity to lives of innocent Nigerians and the Union cannot continue to fold its hands while our members are getting burnt everywhere and everyday.
For the record again, it’s in the well informed opinion of the council in session that this safety if installed in Petroleum trucks will go a long way in reducing the rate of fire accidents involving petroleum trucks.”
On abuse of tonnage capacity, it said “The Executive Council in session also considered with pains and total disgust the continued unscrupulous abuse of the tonnage capacity of Petroleum Trucks by Marketers and Transporters across the country which is negatively affecting and impacting on the safety and control of drivers on the wheels as well as the durability and sustainability of the highways.
“The Council in session couldn’t fathom any logical reason for the failure of government to ensure compliance with basic tonnage requirements on the highways.
Without any iota of doubt, this abuse contributes in no small measure the increasing carnage on the highways with accompanying loss of lives and properties and the continuing demages of these highways.
“After an exhaustive deliberations on these highly important safety issues, the Council in Session unanimously resolved to resume the suspended action of the 1st of May 2021, earlier issued and authorized by the national secretariat of the Union.
Consequently, all Petroleum Tanker Drivers are directed to immediately embark on work to rule action with effect from 27th September 2021 in preparation for total withdrawal of their services with effect from 8th of October 2021 if the Federal government fails to address these three key safety measures in view of the fact that our members are usually the first casualties in all these areas of government failures with regard to safety of lives and properties of Nigerians .
“The Branch Executive Council in session is not unmindful of the pains and discomfort our decisions and intending actions will have on the general public but these are hard and difficult decisions we must take for the sake of our members and even the general public.”