Metro Bus: Drivers protest against poor working conditions

Published: May 24, 2013

Around a dozen drivers began the demonstration at 2pm, chanting slogans denouncing their employers, Platform, for fining them for “minor irregularities”. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: 

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.

Reader Comments (4)

  • David
    May 24, 2013 - 3:15AM

    The job of single-handedly operating heavy equipment amongst pedestrians and traffic while simultaneously providing customer service to your ever-changing cargo is known in this country simply as a “bus driver”. I’d capitalize it, for some reason it doesn’t get enough respect by my fellow Americans for me to bother. These guys probably aren’t really upset because they can’t get cold water or because they are being forced to pay fines. They’re probably just sick of being treated like dirt in general. I have no idea why the very people who hold the lives of dozens, hundreds and sometimes thousands of Americans every day in their hands are given less respect than other professional large equipment operators. In less than four years I kept two of my riders from running out in front of oncoming traffic and getting smeared and that was just because I was paying attention! After five years I left the business, the money’s not good, the working conditions are typically poor, and the worst part of it all is the total lack of appreciation and respect from your peers. So, If your kid gets run over his/her first year at college because the turn-over rate of bus drivers eliminates a decent average of experience, I apologize. Now please go out and start a campaign to give drivers the appreciation, respect, and frankly the money necessary to change the job of bus driver to the career of Mass Transit Vehicle Operator.

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  • Xim
    May 24, 2013 - 12:23PM

    @David: Good valid points but these are Pakistani lives not American.

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  • Xim
    May 24, 2013 - 12:23PM

    @David: Good valid points but these are Pakistani lives not American.

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  • May 24, 2013 - 2:25PM

    being late to work and performing in a manner that could end in loss of life leads to a fine? Wow, in desk jobs, that leads to termination. Ungrateful much.

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