The Metro Bus service was held up briefly on Thursday afternoon when bus drivers staged a protest at Gajju Mata against their working conditions.
Around a dozen drivers began the demonstration at 2pm, chanting slogans denouncing their employers, Platform, for fining them for “minor irregularities” like being late and driving above or below the prescribed speed.
They also complained that there was no proper waiting area for drivers at the Gajju Mata bus depot and no arrangement for them to get cold water.
Several more drivers joined in as and when they arrived at the depot and saw their colleagues protesting. Within half an hour, Punjab Metro Bus Authority (PMBA) officials arrived at the scene to negotiate.
After being reassured that their grievances would be addressed, the drivers went back to work.
The PMBA officials later met with Platform officials and were assured that the authority would act, said PMBA officials.
PMBA General Manager (Operations) Uzair Shah said that Platform had already placed a container at Gajju Mata which would function as a waiting area.
He said that the company has also pledged to provide chilled water to drivers waiting for a driver swap.
He said the company was very receptive during the meeting.
He said that the drivers had not complained to PMBA officials about the fines. He said that it was an internal matter for Platform.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2013.