UPDATE: No evening or late night service from Transport Board
BWU officials speaking with Transport Board employees this morning.
UPDATE [5:50 p.m.]:
Communications Manager with the Transport Board, Lynda Holder, has indicated that there will be no evening or night service from the Transport Board today, as industrial action continues.
"The situation at the Transport Board unfortunately continues. This means that this evening and up to and inclusive of our midnight services will not be provided based on the fact that the employees have not returned to duty."
'We do apologise being experienced by our commuters and we're hopeful that we will be able to resolve this matter as soon as possible," she added, though noting that bus service was provided today for persons with disabilities.
She said that in the absence of dialogue with the workers on strike, she was unable to provide an update for commuters on what would happen tomorrow.
No 'wild strike' at Transport Board
Deputy General Secretary of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU), Dwaine Paul, has denied the claim that workers of the Transport Board have taken strike action haphazardly, saying the issues affecting workers have been going on for too long and workers will no longer be putting up with it.
Just before 6 a.m. today, management of the Transport Board released a notice which stated workers had decided to “withdraw their services” and advising commuters to make alternate travel arrangements.
Communications Manager with the Transport Board, Lynda Holder, told Loop News the Board is still awaiting formal dialogue with the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) to ascertain the reason behind the strike.
“We are waiting to see what the main issue is because no one has told us ‘this is what we are striking for’. So when we have been able to commence that process of dialogue then we will be able to say to the public this is what will happen going forward. We are at a standstill until we know what … we want to discuss.”
However, Paul said the issues affecting the Transport Board are wide, varied and well known. He highlighted a myriad of issues including an inadequate bus fleet, outstanding employee appointments for some who have been employed for over 10 years, as well a lack of dialogue between Management and staff.
“We are not having meetings at this level and then when you are getting meetings they are being interrupted and you really don’t get through the issue. In the interest of the travelling public, we need to bring Transport Board issues to the forefront and have an honest discussion at to exactly what the status of Transport Board is and let us tell the public how we are going to address them. There is too much, in my view, dishonesty as it relates to the state of the Transport Board.”
A deserted Fairchild Street Terminal earlier today.
He pointed to another issue which he said is “annoying the drivers and supervisors”. Paul explained buses are being regularly assigned to “non-profit routes”, especially in St.Philip, while commuters on other routes are not being serviced for two or more hours.
“The staff is upset about it because then they now have to face the public and interact with them.”
Paul said another vexing issue is the fact that new employees have been brought on without vacancies being publicly advertised as is the policy.
Workers of the Transport Board off the job outside of Weymouth Headquarters this morning.
He said he cannot yet confirm if workers will remain off the job tomorrow, Tuesday, November 14. The BWU General Secretary, Toni Moore is expected to address workers before the end of the day.
Meanwhile, Holder said no buses will be available to service school children today, adding that a few buses are on the road to service the disabled community.