Wed | May 31, 2023

Phillips calls for intervention to end strike by JUTC drivers

Published:Thursday | March 30, 2023 | 11:30 AM
Opposition Spokesperson on Transport Mikael Phillips. - File photo.

Opposition Spokesperson on Transport Mikael Phillips is calling for the Government to immediately intervene in the dispute at the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) to end the strike by bus drivers.

In a statement this morning, Phillips argued that the industrial action is crippling the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region and denying transit-dependent people access to the service to go to school and work.

Phillips said to his knowledge, the strike, which started yesterday, is not the result of dissatisfaction with the levels of salary adjustments under the government's new compensation review programme but the failure by the JUTC management to explain its implementation and the impact on the take-home pay of drivers.

According to him, the management did not write to staff members explaining the new salary levels and the recovery of advances paid in retroactive amounts last December.

The opposition spokesperson is further claiming that one of the vexing issues is the recovery of the entire advance from the fortnightly paid drivers yesterday, instead of agreeing with their union on a recovery plan.

He said the strike was avoidable and that the suffering of commuters is unnecessary. 

Phillips said while he sympathises with the cause of the workers he believes a better way must be found urgently to end the inconvenience of the travelling public, including the use of unlicensed and uninsured robot taxis, which poses a risk.

The spokesperson further called for the Minister of Transport Audley Shaw and the JUTC management to get involved immediately.

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