JAMAICA-TRANSPORT- Union objects to planned hike in bus fares
The main union representing government paid workers has warned that an adjustment in the cost of public transportation cannot be accommodated as a wage freeze for public sector workers remains in effect.
President of the Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA), Oneil Grant, says the country should brace for negative implications if the hike in bus fares is granted.
A new fare table for the state-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) will be announced by Transport Minister Dr. Omar Davies at a press conference on Wednesday.
Grant suggested that an increase in bus fare at this time could result in commuters turning once again to unlicensed transport operators who charge a lower fare.
To avoid public sector workers having to pay more at this time, he wants the government to continue to “treat the state-run entity (JUTC) as a subsidy entity, rather than a profit making one.”
Meanwhile, another trade union has also taken issue with the decision to increase bus fares.
Vincent Morrison, President of the Union of Clerical Administrative and Supervisory Employees (UCASE) has expressed surprise that commuters will, for the second time in a year, have to more to ride on
JUTC buses. He said that the company should be focusing on increasing passenger loads instead of hiking fares.
“The higher you put the fare, the less persons who are going to take the bus,” he said, describing the decision as “ill-timed, and “not the proper economic decision.”
The opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) says it will also reject the hike in public transportation fares .
Spokesman on Transport, Dr. Horace Chang, declared that any increase would be unconscionable and would be seen as “an attack on Jamaicans struggling to make ends meet, especially with less than two
weeks to go before the start of the new school year.”
Source : http://antiguaobserver.com/jamaica-transport-union-objects-to-planned-hike-in-bus-fares/
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