By Dayo Badmus,
The Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) arm of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has threatened industrial action.
The PTD gave the warning in a communique after a meeting in Ibadan, Oyo State.
In attendance were the NUPENG President, William Akporeha; General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale; PTD Chairman, Salmon Oladiti and other national officers.
The unionists agreed that the two major issues, that is, the welfare and safety of PTD members, which directly impact on their conditions of work must be urgently resolved.
The meeting condemned the reluctance of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) to negotiate the renewal of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for drivers’ new working conditions.
The leaders regretted that the expiring agreement has been in operation for six years despite the inflationary trend in Nigeria and has further been complicated by the COVID 19 pandemic.
The union executives said due to the hesitation of NARTO on the CBA, tanker drivers will no longer be able to guarantee the movement of petroleum products distribution across the country.
The PTD warned that if the new conditions of service for its members were not spelt out in 14 days, with effect from March 27, all drivers would stop work.
The meeting also discussed the increasing rate of fire incidences involving petroleum trucks with accompanying destruction of lives and properties.
The leaders accused the government of a lackadaisical attitude towards the enforcement of the compulsory installation of Safety Valves in petroleum trucks to protect the inflammable contents from spilling over in a situation of road mishaps.
The council expressed disappointment over the failure of the authorities to live up to its commitments with various stakeholders in several meetings on the matter.
“Insensitive government officials and unscrupulous businessmen will no longer be allowed to keep destroying the lives of our members and that of the general public. These fire accidents are becoming too many but definitely avoidable.
“The council in session have resolved to direct all our members to withdraw their services if the installation of Safety Valves are not made mandatory in all petroleum trucks with effect from 1st of May 2021”, the communique reads.