Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Street protest not necessarily the answer

Published:Thursday | February 23, 2017 | 12:00 AM


In an age of increased technology, mass communication, and simplicity, it is not hard to get the attention of a person without resorting to a protest that materialises into nothing, especially when there are other meaningful ways of doing things that will bring forth good results.

About 5:30 a.m. on Monday, February 20, I arrived at the St Thomas Bus Park in order to catch a vehicle to Kingston. To my surprise, several bus operators, drivers and conductors of public-passenger vehicles (PPV) appeared to be on strike, so a number of travellers were left stranded. My investigations revealed that the bus operators, who operate from Yallahs to Kingston, were also on strike and the given reasons varied. I was told by several PPV bus conductors that they have applied to, and have paid the appropriate fees to the Transport Authority in order to be supplied with badges, but they have not received them as yet.

Although, I understand the concerns, anger and frustrations of these bus-operators, some of whom were not considerate enough to explain to the 'stranded passengers' the reasons why they withdrew their services, I could not fathom the 'stated' reasons because they could have handled the situation in a 'sensible manner' for the reason that bus-owners belong to associations, and the associations have representatives who could seek dialogue with either the police, transport authority official, or even the transport minister in order to address the issues, so that they can be addressed in meaningful ways because we are a civilised nation.

Strikes or protests do get media attention at times, but whether or not the problems are solved; depend on how well they are being handled. But I do hope that somebody in authority will listen to the concerns of these bus-operators, drivers and conductors because, apparently, they have issues or concerns. Nevertheless, an uncoordinated, yet peaceful protest without a representative is not the resolution to the 'alleged' complaints.

Charlie Brown

Morant Bay, St Thomas