Buses rolling after drivers back on duty

Commuters wait hours...

By Renuka Singh

A last-minute meeting between the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) and the Transport and Industrial Workers Union (TIWU) successfully ended an almost 12-hour-long protest action by bus drivers.

Drivers were protesting the company's failure to keep its backpay promise, and several drivers withheld labour until the issue was resolved just after 4 p.m. yesterday.

PTSC general manager Ronald Forde admitted there was a level of absenteeism by drivers.

That absenteeism meant a more than three-hour wait for commuters yesterday morning and, for some, another four-hour wait in the afternoon.

"Not all the drivers stayed away; there was service. We had a meeting with the union over the backpay issue; we went to the Ministry of Finance and returned by 3 p.m. to convey that to the union," Forde said in a telephone interview.

"The results were very positive and this is all behind us now. Buses are rolling," he said.

Shop steward for the union Marcus Granham said the workers were off the job because of health and safety issues, and the company's failure to meet its backpay promise.

But with the promise of resolution from the company, the workers have returned to the job.

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