Jun 24, 2008, 6:27 AM
week or so ago the whole nation was widely informed about the agreement reached
between the government authorities and transport unions covering commercial
vehicle owners and drivers, to reduce transport tariffs and fares across the
This agreement was to take effect yesterday Monday 21 August but instead of that, some drivers and union leaders decided to observe a sit-down strike, depriving the nation of the essential service of transport thereby try to prevent movement of people and goods, as well as run down the economy of the nation.
We cannot really understand why the strike, after a thorough discussion, negotiation and agreement had been reached.
We were told by the Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure that: “The reductions in transport fares and tariffs are adopted in line with the current decrease in domestic retail price of fuel and after thorough consultations with all the relevant government stakeholders, transport unions and associations.”
Following the last increment of fares, there has been “significant reduction of 25 per cent” in the price of fuel in the country for a long period of time. According to the transport ministry, “this prompted the government through consultations with various stakeholders, including transport unions and associations, to negotiate and ensure a downward revision of transport fares both for passengers and commodities.”
If this was the case, so why the unruly behaviour by the commercial vehicle drivers and owners, when they are expected to fully cooperate and let’s peace and understanding reign.
For now it is more questions than answers, and it seems the authorities would have to sit down again with the transport union heads and commercial vehicle drivers and owners to iron out this malaise and disagree to agree.
Meanwhile we should not allow the transport sector or transporters to hold this nation to ransom.
And it seems the government through the transport ministry is also holding firm to its position of no turning back in its effort to ensure fair transport tariffs are given the people.
The latest statement on the issue from the Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure says: “We hereby reaffirm that there is no reason to turn back to the old tariffs. All transport unions / associations and drivers are advised to abide by the new tariffs.
“Therefore, we would like to call on all the relevant stakeholders, especially the transport unions and drivers, to make this fare reduction a reality. The government is committed to ensuring that the benefits of current pump price reductions fully trickle down to the general public.”
Please let’s continue to jaw jaw and disagree to agree, but let’s don’t try to hold the country to ransom.
habitual behavior is the enemy of innovation.“
Rosabeth Moss Kanter