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NEWS : Local News  

In Sierra Leone, Driversí Meeting will Halt Commercial Transportation
By Abdul Fonti & T.S. Gbenda
Jun 22, 2009, 12:34
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The Motor Drivers and General Transport Workers Union (MDGTWU) has summoned all of its members, including all commercial drivers, to a general meeting expected to take place this morning at the Main Bowl of the National Stadium in Freetown.

During the course of the meeting, which is expected to last until 2:00pm, the union has warned that no commercial driver should ply the routes of the Freetown City, as they are all expected to be present at the meeting.

This situation has attracted diverse comments from residents of the city, as this state of affairs would not allow them undertake normal schedules.

"Most of the school going children are presently taking their exams and how are they expected to find their ways to school," a concerned parent in Freetown told the Awareness Times yesterday.

One Mr. Salieu Kamara pointed out that the timing of the meeting is very unreasonable and inappropriate, especially when it is held on the busiest day of the week, which is Monday.

Workers, students and traders have all expressed displeasure over the move of the Motor Drivers and General Transport Workers Union.

Many have speculated that the meeting cannot be unconnected with the driversí discontent over the fuel and transport fare arrangements of the government and that of harassment they face in the hands of the police.

All efforts to contact the President and Secretary General of the Driversí Union proved unsuccessful, as their Shell Company office, in the east end of Freetown was closed when the Awareness Times team went there yesterday.

However, this press was fortunate to talk to the Acting Park Manager of the Freetown Central Lorry Park Company Limited, at his Texaco New Road office, who informed that the meeting was to present the President of the Union to his members. Mr. Bali Koroma said the meeting will also serve as an opportunity for the commercial drivers to forward and deliberate on their constraints. According to him, this is the first meeting to be held with the general membership, since the President of the Union, Alhaji Abu Bakarr Fofana was elected six months back.

He denied that the meeting has anything to do with a strike action over fuel hike or problems with the Governmentís recent transport arrangements. As we went to press, hired vehicles with public address systems atop were seen plying the streets and assuring the populace that the action of halting transportation was not to be seen as a Driversí Strike but merely was just an ordinary Driversí meeting. The announcement was met with snorts of derision from passers-by who were not amused at the timing of the Driversí Meeting.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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