Hundreds of commuters were left stranded this morning as bus drivers employed by the state-owned Transport Board called in sick.
General Manager Sandra Forde reported that less than 20 of the more than 100 buses that were due to operate from 4: 30 a.m. Thursday were on the road.
The north of the island was particularly hard hit by the action which is in support of a sick out order issued by this island’s four major trade unions on Tuesday.
“We haven’t had any buses leaving our Speightstown depot or our Mangrove depot so the majority of the buses are leaving Weymouth to more or less traverse the entire island,” Forde said.
“We started with about 100 buses that were ready to move but we have only been able to get about 14 drivers so far,” she told reporters just after 8 a.m.
Yesterday, there was a limited response to the call made by the Barbados Workers’ Union, the National Union of Public Workers, the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union and the Barbados Union of Teachers, with the Bridgetown Port affected by a five-hour work stoppage.
However, the Transport Board has been hardest hit this morning by the sick out which is affecting other Government departments.
The unions are pressing for a 50 per cent rollback of the National Social Responsibility Levy, which was increased from two to ten per cent on July 1. Failing that, they have called on Government to grant workers a coping subsidy.
However, to date the Freundel Stuart administration has been refusing to budge on those demands.