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Meeting averts PSV strike


Meeting averts PSV strike

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Following a meeting with the Transport Authority and the heads of the public service vehicle (PSV) sector, the Ministry of Transport says any proposed strike action has been averted.

However, all does not appear well among the parties, as interim chairman of the Association of Public Transport Operators (APTO), Morris Lee, told THE NATION they were not in agreement with the Alliance of Owners of Public Transport (AOPT) over the issue of uniforms – a “minute” matter in comparison to the major issues the sector faced. He also said they had hired an attorney over the issues.

A WhatsApp voice note, allegedly from a PSV operator, had called for industrial action in protest of the upcoming uniforms; the inability to source duty-free vehicles; the institution of the fuel tax while still paying road tax; and new court rules with increased fines and more.

In response, Minister in the Ministry of Transport Peter Phillips arranged a “hastily” called meeting today which lasted over two hours. A subsequent press release from the ministry said the parties had reached an understanding.

“Commuters can be assured that the proposed work stoppage by the PSV sector, scheduled for January 2 and 3, has been averted. The operators were up in arms over a notice in the newspapers from the Transport Authority, which stated that the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance has updated its uniform and dress code for PSV drivers and conductors, and this new dress code would come into effect January 2.

“The hastily called meeting at the [ministry] today . . . saw officials from the ministry, the Barbados Transport Authority, members of the AOPT and members of the APTO [meeting] for over two hours to thrash out their concerns,” it added.

As a result, the timeline for the new uniforms has been pushed back to March 1. (CA/PR)

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