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Tuesday 20 March 2018

South commuters stranded as bus drivers protest

Scores of early-morning passengers were stranded yesterday when bus drivers stopped work to highlight health and safety conditions at the PTSC compound at Lady Hailes Avenue, San Fernando.

But by 1 pm, buses began rolling out of the garage again, after a two-hour emergency meeting between staff and management. Members of the Transport and Industrial Workers Trade Union, led by branch president Kelvin Rampersad (South), were told by PTSC managers that all their concerns will be addressed within the next two weeks.

Rampersad told Newsday, “The union has asked that all safety measures be put in place immediately, and we are working with the management to ensure we have a safe working environment.”

Yesterday’s action by the workers stemmed from last Friday’s accident at the PTSC garage,which left air-condition technician Adel Mohammed with a broken right foot. A runaway bus ploughed into Mohammed, who was repairing a compressor, with his back turned. The bus slammed into him, pinning him against an iron cable. He had surgery and is still warded at the San Fernando General Hospital. Rampersad told Newsday the safety device on the bus, which was undergoing repairs, was not working at the time. Rampersad said, “Mohammed could have died, because the bus also crashed and damaged two other buses. That same bus was in another accident and had come to the garage for repairs, but no one had checked the brakes.

“Mohammed is an avid cricketer and also enjoys other sports. He may not be able to play again.”

Rampersad said such an accident must not be allowed to happen again.

He apologised for the inconvenience suffered by the travelling public yesterday.

He added: “The reason we compromised with the management is because we know of the travelling woes, and we are in solidarity with them. But at the same time, we are conscious of the derelict buses on the road which could endanger the lives of the public.”


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