By Emameh Gabriel and Omonu Nelson
The ongoing biting fuel scarcity may yet take turn for the worse as the Lagos Zonal branch of the Tankers Driver Union yesterday, closed down Gulf Treasures Depot Located in Apapa: one of the few fuel depot constantly loading fuel since the beginning of the current fuel scarcity.
A press statement made available to LEADERSHIP by the management of Gulf Treasure Depot reads in part:”Gulf Treasure Depot has been under siege by tanker drivers, who have constituted themselves into a Union without the consent of the management of the depot, an act that is against every known industrial practice.” the statement said.
When LEADERSHIP visited the area, the situation was very chaotic as trucks already loaded with PMS could not go out to deliver their product.
According to one of the staff who pleaded anonymity, the union has hijacked the activities at the depot, they impose dues arbitrarily on customers and even the depot own trucks.
“our management tried to avoid this situation by engaging in dialogue with them but they remain adamant and do things with impunity”.
“Where is it done when people from no where will form themselves as union over a business they have no stake whereas we have our own driver that are members of the union?, asked the staff who spoke with an agitated voice.
He further revealed that “most of them doing this were union executive in places or depot they work with, but deprive our own drivers of their right”.
“As if this is not enough, they now attack the company that house them, there cannot be union with the company. Union cannot forcefully take over our company.
He accused the union of double standard and reckless impunity in what the management described as a mission to run down its business after recording lost for over two years due to the union’s unholy operation and oppression.
“Our management have be quiet on this for too long and this gave them room to advance in their evil mission. Now they don,t want to accept the negotiated dues we pay them and hundreds of millions have been paid to them.
“They want four times more. The company has been operating at a lost for over two years. They don’t care as it is not their business. Our staff are on 30% salary since march,yet the union want 250% increase on the dues we pay on the little volume of product our dedicated trucks to our service outlets, claiming that that is what some new depot does for them.
Another staff at the depot further called on relevant authorities to swift into action before things get out of hand, such that over six hundred jobs may be affected.
“If urgent steps are not taken over 600 members of our staff will loose their jobs to tanker drivers handedness”.
“Government should immediately step in and save our jobs. We cannot be sacrifice for tanker drivers”, he cried out