Management of Metro Mass Transit Limited [MMTL] has expressed disappointment at last week’s strike action embarked by the Kumasi branch of the workers’ union over non-payment of salaries.
According to a statement signed by the Managing Director of MMT, Mr. Albert Adu, the strike action was not in good faith especially when leadership has been part of all negotiations to have their concerns addressed.
The Kumasi depot of MMTL embarked on a strike action last Friday leaving commuters stranded over what they describe as non-payment of salaries for the period of two months.
“There are a lot of issues here, but right now we are dealing with salaries. We haven’t been paid for two and half months and that is why we are embarking on this strike.
“If they don’t pay us, we will not call it off. No pay, no work,”, John Osei, Union Chairman of the Junior staff at MMT Kumasi depot told the media.
But the Managing Director of MMT explained that the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic had impacted negatively on their operations and had consequently led to drastic drop in revenue.
“As a road passenger transport company, Metro Mass Transit Limited is in business when there is unfettered movement of people from place to place. It is therefore obvious that the outbreak of COVID-19 with its concomitant restrictions on the movement of people, has had tremendous negative effect on the company’s operations,” he said in the statement.
He added that beside the generally low passenger patronage these days, the observance of the social distancing protocol has drastically reduced the number of passengers carried on the company’s buses on the various routes that it operates.
“This situation has impacted negatively on our revenue generation even as we maintain almost the same operational cost”, the statement said.
On the show of bad faith, Management said, “The unvarnished truth is that workers, through their Unions, have been constantly engaged and copiously orientated to these challenges.”
Mr Albert Adu disclosed that on June 26, the Secretary General of TUC, Dr. Yaw Baah, together with the General Secretary and other officials of the Ghana, Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union (GTPCWU), accompanied by representatives of both Senior and Junior Unions of this Company met with the Management of MMTL to discuss the turbulence bursting around the Company as a result of the pandemic and the way forward.
He stated that the meeting was successful after management and the Union pledged to work together to find lasting solutions to the challenges confronting workers.
Arrears to be settled
Mr Albert Adu, however, assured that though the impact of the Covid-19 is having an effect on the Company, “positive approaches have been made to Government, through the Ministry of Transport, to secure support to enable us settle workers’ salaries for the months of May and June 2020.”
“Incidentally, workers have been adequately informed of our current situation at every stage, and it is therefore ironical that they would resort to industrial action to press home their demands. This is most unfortunate.
In spite of the distractions, Management refuses to be robbed of its commitment to better the lives of our workers. We are on course and very positive that our unremitting efforts and unwavering determination would yield the desired results in our forward match to resuscitate our operations and take care of our workers,” he assured.