Bus drivers plan to take strike action this week

Bus drivers plan to take strike action this week

Says “enough is enough”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Frederick Farrington, President of The Bahamas Unified Bus Drivers Union, expressed on Monday that “enough is enough” and bus drivers will be striking this week because of poor government aid.

His announcement comes after decades of complaints and failed negotiations between the Union and the Government to fix the problems that Farrington described yesterday as “inadequate.”

“I’m putting all the customers on notice, because one day of this week, we are going to withdraw services,” Farrington warned. “We can have at least 90 to 95 percent of drivers withdraw their services. And when I say services, that’s from each route.”

Farrington said that the union gave the government a one month notice of their various complaints but have yet to receive a response.

“We need our voices to be heard,” Farrington said. “Over 10 years ago, almost 11 years now, bus drivers have not had a single pay increase. Also, there isn’t one single restroom facility for bus drivers, and these bus drivers are not only gentleman, they are ladies also. So, in a county that is so digitally technology driven, we want to see these various things in place.

Earlier this year, the Unified Bus Drivers Union said that they were no longer paying fines for making illegal stops because of a lack of sufficient bus stops throughout the island.

The government announced last month that they plan on creating a unified busing service that would ease a lot of the problems citizens and drivers often complain about, like poor infrastructure. However, Farrington said that he is not confident in that plan.

“It’s a mere distraction of the reality of what really goes on. We’ve been backed in a corner. Government chose to listen to paid consultants and these persons are out of touch of the reality of what is going on in the country.”

Farrington noted that while an exact date for the strike cannot be provided as yet, he hopes that people riding the buses remain aware of the issues bus drivers are facing, and that the government helps drivers fix these issues to create a better transportation system within the country.

“The concerns, what’s happening today, that is what we want to address and that is why we’re here. That’s why we’re going to withdraw our service this coming week,” he said.

This article was written by Marechan Burrows – Eyewitness News Intern.