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Stabroek News

'Ochi' bus operators restive
published: Tuesday | January 31, 2006

TOUR BUS operators who conduct business at the Ocho Rios Cruise Ship Pier are angry at what they described as unfair practices by bus dispatchers at the pier. They are accusing the dispatchers of operating a payola scheme, by assigning work only to operators who offered them bribes.

According to the operators, the situation has resulted in some buses being assigned to work almost every day, while other buses have to wait for many weeks before getting a tour. "We have our buses to pay for and we have our commitment to our homes and our families and this corrupt practice is only making life more difficult for us," one operator said.

CLUELESS

But, in response to the allegations, Dennis Richards, manager of the Ocho Rios Cruise Ship Pier, said he had no knowledge of any payola system operating at the pier. He said he had heard rumours, but none of the bus operators had ever come forward to identify any of the alleged corrupt dispatchers. "We operate a zero tolerance system here and any employees found to be involved in any corrupt practice will not be allowed to remain here,", he said.

- D.E.

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