Business News of 2014-08-08

Fuel shortage to hit Total petroleum

An imminent shortage of fuel is expected to hit pump stations belonging to Total Petroleum Company as their tanker drivers continue an indefinite strike.
The drivers are protesting the use of an electronic seal, a devise used to seal cargo after they have been loaded.
Secretary of the Tanker Drivers Union, William Adarkwa told Citi Business News, the drivers fear the electronic seals could spark fire which will endanger their lives in the course of duty.
“We are not experts. But the little that we know is that when we are even driving, we have been told not to use mobile phones. Why are they now putting electronic gadgets?” he questioned.
According to him, “they have written on it that it is hazardous to that product. Why are they now putting those gadgets on the car?” William Adarkwa indicated that their protest stems from a past experience.
“We have seen some before. This product we carry is highly inflammable. The other time, NPA was fixing some trackers on the truck. One sparked and blasted killing one person instantly. They did not do anything to compensate the victim’s family,” he said.
“We are not fighting with Total. What we are saying is Total should come and tell us this device is safe.” William Adarkwa said the device could spark fire because “it is radioactive. It is an electromagnetic device.”
“They should remove that thing and come up with something better”, he demanded The tanker drivers work directly under Transporting companies outsourced by Total Petroleum Ghana. The tanker drivers are also demanding better conditions of service. According to William Adarkwa some of the drivers have not been paid in the past 6 months.
He indicates the Transporters have been giving a lot of excuses. He accused the Transporters of shortchanging them. “The Total Transporters are not paying us the required amount that Total (Petroleum Ghana) asked them to pay us.”
“If anything, Total can try to do something about that. The money that Total said should be paid to the drivers is not coming to the drivers.” He argued the cost of living had significantly gone high hence the need to adjust their wages and salaries accordingly.
“We want the required payment to be given us”, he said. Efforts to get Total Petroleum to comment proved futile.
The strike could cause a shortage of petrol in Ghana considering the fact that Total Petroleum Ghana controls the biggest market share. Data from the regulator, the National Petroleum Authority indicates Total Petroleum Ghana commands about 14% of the market share.
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