By Carlena Knight
The three-day-a-week work system which was implemented for all public bus drivers more than a year ago has now been removed.
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Bus Association Keithroy Black made the revelation while speaking on the Good Morning JoJo sports show yesterday.
Sluggish business had forced a new shift system to be put in place for public bus drivers in August 2020 but, according to Black, the association had to backtrack on that stipulation after bus drivers threatened to take legal action.
“They started it but what happened after is a few of the bus drivers started to get lawyers involved and saying that they are going to sue the association and sue the Antigua and Barbuda Transport Board (ABTB) because ‘I bought my bus to run six days and not three days and you cannot force me to work three days’.
“So, again, we met with the transport board and asked them to just allow the bus drivers since they want to do six days, and if the routes want to continue working their three days let them do it,” Black said.
Although the mandate has more or less been lifted, Black clarified that there are still a few drivers who operate on the three-day system.
Some areas, such as Barnes Hill and Piggotts, Black said had been on a three-day system for years, well before the restricted days came into effect.
“For some routes they are still doing it because what had happened when the bus drivers came to us and asked us to try and see if we can make the change, there were so many routes before that were working on a three-day shift system,” he explained.
Meanwhile Black revealed that more than 95 percent of bus operators have now been vaccinated.
The government implemented a vaccinate mandate for all public sector workers in mid-September, and residents are also barred from entering certain government departments unless they can show proof of being jabbed.
Black added that the small minority of drivers yet to be inoculated are currently barred from operating bus services.