PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad:
In an unusual departure from regular protest action, drivers of ‘maxi taxi’ minibuses in the eastern city of Arima who ply Trinidad’s busy East-West corridor are to go without breakfast Monday ‹ and remain on a hunger strike to press the government to pay money owed to them for the last two years.
The protest fast is likely to disrupt the morning commute from the island’s fourth largest town to the Trinidad capital, Port of Spain, and several town centres on a 26-kilometre (16 miles) priority bus route reserved for the distinctive white vans with colour-coded bands.
Some members of the maxi taxi association in Arima, whose privately owned and operated buses carry a red band, have said they will stage their ‘fast for justice’ outside the office here of Finance Minister Winston Dookeran.
Arima Maxi Taxi Association President Lincoln Cumberbatch told TV6 Television by telephone on Sunday that the fast would begin from 6 am Monday (1000 GMT).
He said a press conference would be held later in the day to update reporters on the protest.
In a 2010 judgement, the Privy Council in London, the two-island republic’s final court of appeal, ordered that the government in Port of Spain pay approximately 50 million Trinidad and Tobago dollars (7.8 million US dollars) to maxi-taxi operators who use Port of Spain’s City Gate terminal.