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11.05.2007 General News

Volta Lake Workers accuse BOST

By Daily Guide

Workers of the Volta Lake Transport Company (VLTC) have blamed the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport (BOST) Limited for engineering a ploy to take over their fuel transportation duties.

Led by Samuel Kweku Bonney and Perey Tetteh, National Vice Chairman of VLTC Workers Union and Vice President of Senior Staff Association respectively, the workers told the Daily Guide in an interview that BOST, which was supposed to be endearing itself to its primary functions of fuel storage, was gradually usurping VLTC's role of transporting fuel.

The VLTC workers therefore appealed to the Ministry of Roads and Transport to intervene immediately to forestall any clashes between the two sides.

According to them, BOST was trespassing by engaging in transportation and distribution of fuel lately to inland countries and to the northern parts of Ghana.

The workers recently protested against the situation at the May Day Celebrations at the Independence Square in Accra.

They hoisted placards with inscriptions such as "Mr. President, is VLTC on secret sell out to BOST?" "Why neglect Volta Lake Transport Company," and "BOST, concentrate on fuel storage and leave fuel transportation to Volta Lake Company".

"Beside the fuel storage role of BOST, it is attempting to take over the responsibility of VLTC, through dubious means," Kweku Bonney mentioned.

Kwebena Owusu Afriyie, General Secretary of the Maritime and Dock Workers Union (MDU), in a telephone interview confirmed the fracas between the two companies and said a meeting was facilitated by the union to help solve the problem.

Mr Afriyie said at a meeting between the two sides, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed to the effect that VLTC should continue its job as allocated, while BOST assisted in transporting certain allocated percentage of fuel to northern Ghana and some landlocked countries.

"This was to address the impasse but as we speak now, BOST has abrogated the MOU," Afriyie said.

According to the Daily guide, BOST, had contracted WORCOM Engineering, a Korean firm to build two batches for it, so it could transfer fuel against the MOU.

Percy Tetteh and Bonney said a Government Act (263) of 1970 which established VLTC, mandated it to supply fuel and transport goods and people from Akosombo to Buipe through ports at Krachi in the Volta and Yeji in Brong Ahafo regions.

The Act also allows VLTC to control lake-crossing services at Dambai, Krachi Yeji and Adawso, in the Eastern region.

The leaders painted out that 80 percent of their company's revenue emanated from transportation of fuel and other services that fell within its line of operation.

The workers contended that if the situation was allowed to fester, there would be job losses.

Source: Daily Guide