Petroleum Tanker Drivers threaten strike over frequent accidents

Petroleum Tanker Drivers threaten strike over frequent accidents

By Esenvosa Izah

The  Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD)  Branch of  the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has threatened to instruct their members to withdraw their services by May 1 if measures are not taken to reduce the rate of accidents involving petroleum trucks.

The drivers are calling for making the installation of safety valve mandatory in petroleum trucks with effect from May 1.

The union’s Chairman, Mr Akanni Oladiti, stated this  in a statement  the  branch issued on Sunday,  following its Executive Meeting held on March 27 in Ibadan, Oyo State.

Oladiti said that  the decision was because the union members were usually the first casualties in any situation of fire accidents involving petroleum trucks.

According to him, the safety valves, if installed will go a long way in reducing the rate of fire accidents involving petroleum trucks and therefore save precious lives and property.

“The council in session noted with deep concerns,  the inability to fully  enforce the compulsory installation of safety valves in all petroleum trucks to protect the inflammable contents of the trucks from spilling over in a situation of road mishaps.

“These fire accidents are becoming too many but definitely avoidable.

“The branch executive council in session is not unmindful of the pains and discomforts our decisions and intending actions will have on the general public.

“However, these are hard and difficult decisions we must take for the sake of our members and even the general public, ” the chairman said.

He said also that the union issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) to negotiate the renewal of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for new working conditions for  tanker drivers.

Read Also: Five Trucks, car burnt in Otedola Bridge explosion in Lagos

He said that  the expiring CBA had been in operation for the past six years despite the fact that the country had been experiencing spiral inflationary trend that was further complicated by the  COVID -19 pandemic.

“The council in session expresses deep worries that petroleum tanker drivers have been going through harrowing financial situations.

“This is so, even, while rendering selfless national services to ensure delivery of petroleum products to homes and factories in every nook and cranny of this country, day and nights, in good and bad weathers and on highly deplorable highways, ” Oladiti said.