…Over Loading Routes
By Cecil Mensah
The branch members of the Accra –Adenta route of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), are up in arms against members of the Ghana Co-operative Transport Association, over their unilateral operation of a parallel Accra – Adenta route at the Kinbu Lorry Park in the Central Business Districts (CBDs) of Accra.
The Herald can report that commercial drivers in the terminal, are fuming with rage over the decision of the co-operative members to operate the same route.
The Herald has further learnt that a handful of the GPRTU members are planning to ransack the station or be allowed to also operate from the same terminal, which is opposite Public Works Department (PWD) yard.
The yard in question, is the same yard the Metro Mass Transit (MMT) fleets operate from.
According to the GPRTU members stationed in the Tema Station Lorry Terminal, they have been running the route over a decade now.
They averred that they cannot sit down for some disgruntled members of the Union, who claim to have broken away to join co-operative to start operating the same route at the said terminal, thereby depriving them of passengers in the terminal.
They alleged that the operations of the breakaway group, have compounded the traffic situation in the area.
They are threatening bloodshed saying, that they will not allow the breakaway group to deprive them of their daily earnings.
“We will not sit down aloof for them to destroy our business,” the aggrieved branch members vowed
The branch members posited that the terminal in question was meant for long distance vehicles and not short distance travels.
Even though the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), claims it has clamped down on illegal operation of terminals in the city, as part of the millennium city project, this terminal operated by the cooperative is just about some two hundred metres away from the main office of the AMA.
Reacting to the concerns raised by the branch members, Mr. William Oquaye, the Chairman of the Welfare Committee of Tema station Lorry Terminal of the
Ghana Private Road and Transport Union (GPRTU) told The Herald that the actions of the members of the Ghana Co-operative Transport Association, has become a major worry for the leadership of the union in the main terminal.
He said, the situation is a bit dicey, because the commercial drivers who are now claiming to be members of the co-operative, were members of GPRTU in the terminal, but misbehaved and disciplinary actions were taken against them.
He said, during the process, the group members turned round said have broken away to join the Ghana Co-operative Transport Association.
He said, the mangers of union at point invited them to rejoin the union but they refused claiming they want to operate from where they are currently operating from.
He said that at certain instance, the leaders of the breakaway group were offered a loading place at the lorry terminal opposite the Ghana Commercial Bank on the late Professor John Evans Atta-Mills Highway but they refused without any apparent reason insisting that the terminal is where they want to ply their parallel trade.
He noted that the issue has travelled to the central Motor Traffic and Transport Unit of the Ghana Police Service and the AMA office where a taskforce was task to close the station down the station but to avail.
“We have been restraining the branch members from doing any untoward and to allow the leadership handles the issue.
Reacting to the allegations by the branch members Mr Edward Hoffmann, the National President of the Ghana Co-operative Transport Association said the allegations that the terminal was meant for long distance vehicles cannot be true.
He ask one cannot describe a journey from Accra to Tema, Accra to Adenta as short distance travels in the metropolis but members of GPRTU in the Tema Station Lorry Terminal have been running Accra-Tema and Accra- Adenta routes even though the terminal was meant for short distance travels.
He maintained that it was not true that his association has been admitting breakaway members from the GPRTU who are undergoing disciplinary actions from the union.
He explained that the Abeka –Lapaz Bus Terminal was started by the Ghana Co-operative Transport Association but the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) is now claiming ownership of the terminal because “our members broke away to join them”
He said the co-operative is a discipline organization governed by the rules and regulations that establish cooperatives under the Ministry of Manpower and Labour Relations.
“We are a law abiding organization that will not do anything untoward in this little misunderstanding between a sister organization.
He gave the assurance that he will work for the issue to be resolved amicably for it to foster peace among the two organizations operating commercial transport in the Country.