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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Tanker drivers suspend strike in less than 24 hours

Barely 24 hours after they commenced their strike, Petroleum Tanker Drivers have called off the action.

The Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, yesterday, evening suspended their nationwide indefinite strike, following Federal Government’s approval of bridging cost allowance from N6.20 to N7.20. 

Tankers National Chairman of PTD, Mr. Salimon Oladiti, who confirmed the suspension of strike, after a meeting with representatives of the Federal Government at the NNPC Towers in Abuja, said government had announced immediate increase of bridging cost allowance from N6.20 to N7.20 for National Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, and had directed NARTO to commence immediate negotiation with PTD on a new, Collective Bargaining Agreement, CBA, that expired three years ago. 

“We have suspended the industrial action as government has agreed to increase NARTO’s claims for it to accommodate a new collective agreement with us. The negotiation will commence immediately, while our other demands are being looked into,” he said.

It was gathered that the tanker drivers had said at the end of their Central Working Committee (CWC), meeting in Lagos on Friday that they were embarking on the strike pursuant to their demands which included welfare matters. Mr Achese had said the welfare issues included the perennial problem of bad roads, poor salaries and other conditions of service, insecurity and alleged high-handedness of some security operatives against their members. 

However, in calling off the strike, Mr. Achese said the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, had demonstrated sufficient commitment by his management to resolve the issues. Earlier at the opening of the meeting, Mr. Baru said the federal government had approved the immediate increment of bridging cost allowance payable to petroleum product marketers by 16.13 per cent. He said the approval by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, raised the allowance from the current N6.20 per litre to N7.20 with immediate effect.

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