The Board Chairman of the Metro Mass Transit Limited (MMT) Ahmed Arthur has denied allegations management approved the acquisition of a brand new Toyota Landcruiser vehicle valued at a 108,000 dollars for the Managing Director (MD) Bennett Aboagye.
He said although plans were in place to acquire a new vehicle for the MD, none of the union members could substantiate the claims of the supposed purchase of the luxurious vehicle at a meeting with the staff, adding that the company is yet to determine when and which vehicle to buy for him.
He explained that plans to buy a new car for the MD were initiated after he had an accident last month with the official car which has since returned from the workshop.
..but then the company had recruited two additional deputies who were supposed to be given official vehicles.
“So when the two deputies came in, it was necessary that we got them a new car. We bought one of them a new car but when we had our management meeting, we decided that the car that was repaired should be given to one of the deputies and an arrangement be made to purchase one for him [MD] later.
Workers of the company on Wednesday protested what they considered profligate expenditure by management to purchase a vehicle that cost $108,000 for the MD at a time when the monies could be channeled into other important things like repairing broken down buses.
In addition to demands to halt the purchase of the vehicle, the workers draped in red clothing and armbands and wielding placards with various inscriptions also protested against what they described as poor working conditions saying that management had not dealt with their conditions of services.
“Every time they say they don’t have money but they are going to buying the vehicle for the MD and were able to pay a consultant who is a pharmacist $9,000,” Workers Union Chairman Emmanuel Awatey told the media.
Commenting on the matter in a radio discussion, Mr Arthur said the fortunes of the company was dwindling before the MD came in.
According to him, the MD had been in office just four months ago:”So we cant say he was the one who has presided over the dwindling fortunes of the company. It is not so. it is not right to make such a statement,” he said.
He, however, stated that “For the past two months the fortunes of the company’s is beginning to appreciate, it’s beginning to turn around. We use to make 130,000 a day now we are making 230,000 so there is a turnaround for the company”
Touching on the conditions of service, he said the company manages to pay workers under a lot of strain. This was because the company previously had about 1400 buses on the road but now can only boast of 480 active buses which have taken a toll on its revenue.
“Our bus strength has reduced….and we are still maintaining the same staff strength so we are really doing a balancing act in order to maintain them on the payroll, he added