Dozens of Public Transportation Service Corporation (PTSC) workers protested outside the newly refurbished Red House and the Eric Williams Financial Complex yesterday.
“The members are disgruntled, they are fed up, of the lethargic slow pace of negotiations pertaining to cost items and they have reached their climax,” Transport and Industrial Worker’s Union (TIWU) Vice President Paul Smith told Guardian Media in a telephone interview.
“We have wrote (sic) the line Minister- of Finance and we are yet to receive any response from him so the workers took the action they deemed necessary because they expect a response from the minister of finance who would address their subordinate managers,” he continued.
Smith said workers decided to protest after a few branches of the corporation were plagued by “small health and safety issues” and more importantly, a small availability of buses to service the corporation’s 150 routes.
Yesterday’s action was a joint effort by TIWU and the Public Service Association (PSA) under the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC). PTSC branch chair of the PSA, Darryl Lammy indicated that the Corporation was behind negotiations by six years (two periods) and workers were operating on 2010 allowances.
“What we have been seeing with the management is a level of doh care…the management of the organisation does not manage properly and we are very concerned with that as well,” Lammy said.
As a result of these issues, the TIWU vice president said, their protests would escalate if they aren’t addressed.
“The members believe to themselves they want to intensify until the line minister of finance come and speak to them.”
In a release earlier yesterday, PTSC advised commuters of a disruption in its service due to the industrial action and to find alternative travel arrangements for the day.
“It is likely that the Corporation will experience disruptions to its operations and therefore scheduled services may not be available. This will have an adverse impact on our commuters especially school children and working individuals who depend solely on our buses to get to their respective destinations. The PTSC is taking steps to mitigate the impact of same as far as practicable,” it read.