Charged STC Workers Meet Board Today; Two Delegations Set For China, Turkey For New Buses

After days of agitations and threat to organize a full-blown industrial action, the Board and management of Intercity State Transport Company (STC) Coaches, have agreed to meet with workers of the company today Thursday, June 6.

The crunch meeting, follows attempt by authorities, to appoint a third deputy Managing Director (MD) in the wake of the company’s purported dwindling fortunes.

The workers, had opposed the appointment and threatened fire and brimstone, if their call to withdraw the appointment, was not heeded.

They argued that, the problems of the state-owned transport company, surpass merely adding on to the numbers at the managerial level, because the existing two deputies, together with the substantive Managing Director, Nana Akomea, is enough to steer the affairs of the company.

In a petition to the board, the workers maintained that, what is of utmost importance to the company, is replacing the broken-down vehicles and among other concerns.

Reports indicate that, out of about 145 buses, barely 40 are in good shape and plying the roads, as the rest have been grounded.

But management of the company in response, addressed a number of the issues raised by the workers.

A statement issued from the Public Relations department, signed by Anita Abaka-Sika, dated June 4, said, “The STC bus fleet are aged nine (9) years for the Scania fleet and five (5) years for the Daewoo fleet”.

The statement indicated that, plans are underway to get new fleet of buses to argument the few that are currently operational. The company, said there are two delegations about to leave the country to China and Turkey to complete negotiations for this purpose.

“By the norms of Intercity (long distance travel) standards they are overage, hence the frequent and prolonged visits to the workshop. They are due to be replaced.

The company is currently making every effort to replace the entire fleet. Two delegations are leaving shortly for China and Turkey, to conclude arrangements for new fleet”.

The workers in their petition, also drew the attention of the board to their Provident Fund arrears and other statutory deductions that are significantly overdue, namely: Provident Fund arrears for about six years, tier 2 arrears totaling six months, and SSNIT deductions in arrears exceeding six million Ghana Cedis (GH₵6, 000, 000. 00)”.

The respond from the PR department, clarified that even though there are arrears, the number of years, has been reduced from 14 to 4 years.

“Arrears on Workers Provident Contribution have dated from 2011 (ie fourteen years ago). The arrears have progressively been reduced to four years. (This four-year arrears, have been largely due to the COVID-19, difficult operating environment)

SSNIT arrears, have dated from 2013. STC is now current as monthly payments. The arrears have also been reduced as a little above GH₵4 million”, it said.

On Monday, buses that were expected to leave Accra for other parts of the country, were delayed until 4pm and 5pm, leaving passengers stranded.

The workers comprising junior and senior staff, had backed their action with notices at vantage points and on doors, instructing management to respect their concerns and act on them.

They had also tied red bands on the gates, and other places at their offices near the Awudome Cemetery to draw attention of the board and management to their concerns.

The office of the Deputy Managing Director, was not left out, as they wrapped the entrance with red bands after locking it.

Some of the notices read, “We need new buses, but not too much talk”, “what STC needs is buses not Deputy Managing Director”, “we do not need any replacement for the deputy managing director for operations”.

Others read: “Any attempt to forcefully open this door will lead industrial action”, “we do not need any replacement for the deputy managing director for operations”, and “any attempt to forcefully impose the replacement of the DMD for operations on us will be met with a stiffer resistance open this door will”.

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