MAXI-TAXI drivers contracted to transport schoolchildren by the Ministry of Education will protest this morning over the ministry’s failure to pay them.
The drivers have not been paid for the past four months. Newsday was told the association that represents the drivers will gather members at the Public Service Transport Corporation (PTSC) garage in San Fernando this morning.
The drivers are contracted by PTSC and the service is paid for by the Education Ministry. Repeated efforts to reach Education Minister Anthony Garcia for a comment have been unsuccessful. Last Thursday, Garcia said he was unaware that the drivers had not been paid, but would investigate. However, calls to his cellphone on Monday and yesterday went unanswered.
Speaking anonymously yesterday, an affected driver said, “Mr Garcia seems like he just does not care. We don’t know why this is being done to us, but it’s like they fail to realise we have families to feed.” Another said come next Monday, he might not be able to provide the service to schoolchildren, as his bills have become too much.
“I can’t make any more. I think this will be my last week. I will be sorry for the children who have to look for a ride to school now, but my life is in shambles because they are not paying us. You could survive four months without getting paid?” he asked. The two said they have seen many of their colleagues lose their families as they struggle to put food on the table. “You know how many men lost their wife over this? Imagine, you can’t even buy food for your house, but you still holding on to a job and praying to get paid.”