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05.06.2007 General News

Metro Mass Transit workers call off strike

By The Independent

Workers of the Metro Mass Transit, have called off a planned peaceful demonstration scheduled for Tuesday, June 5.

The big demonstration by workers was to draw public attention to their conditions of services and more importantly the sinking image of the company as a result of poor management, according to the Independent newspaper.

Issues concerning the MMT which was the brainchild of the Kufuor administration as a means of reviving mass public transport in the country have in recent times been in the media for the wrong reasons.

The paper said issues of massive ticket racketeering, siphoning of fuel, official negligence and thievery are some negatives driving down the fortunes of the company.

A source pointed out to the paper that the intension of the workers to embark on a big demonstration today is the result of management's intransigence in solving the basic problems of the workers.

The source further pointed out that one of the reasons for their action is that for the five years that some of them have been working for the company, they are yet to receive their appointment letters. Worst still the source added, some of the workers' salaries have been slashed for reasons unknown to them.

According to the source, since an agreement was reached on May 20, 2007 that workers salary would be increased, nothing concrete has happened. The irony is that the salaries of top management have been increasing consistently, the source disclosed.

The source noted that one major problem facing the company and which is also affecting morale of workers is the gross disparity in the salary structure of workers and management. The source also wondered, "How on earth can a financial manager receive an amount of 25 million cedis a month, while a conductor receives 540,000 cedis.

According to another source, another problem is harassment of workers by some GPRTU officials and other commercial drivers who dread the existence of public transport. The source said day in and day out, the conductors and drivers are either attacked physically or verbally and as a result many workers are leaving the company for the sake of their lives.

The source added that the most painful thing about the whole story is management's lackadaisical and nonchalant attitude when such cases of abuse and attack are reported to them.

The source added that the MMT have enough lawyers who could deal with some of these assault cases but the workers find it puzzling and inexplicable why they (management) are unwilling to do so and stop the attacks.

Source: The Independent