Bus and taxi strike threat
PANAMA. It’s still up in the air but late yesterday the public transport unions, supported by taxi drivers, were determined to go ahead...
PANAMA. It’s still up in the air but late yesterday the public transport unions, supported by taxi drivers, were determined to go ahead with a strike intended to paralyze most of the country, and keep thousand of lowly paid workers from their jobs.
According to the National Transport Chamber, (CANATRA) leader Dionisio Ortega, the authorities have not given them explanations about what is going to happen to them when the Martinelli Administration starts modernizing public transportation.
The selective transport drivers (taxis) are also joining the strike because they believe that new feeder bus routes to the planned Metro could mean that 15,000 taxis would disappear.
However, President Ricardo Martinelli is not willing to give in to the pressure of people who he says provide “terrible service to thousands of users everyday.”
Public transport users consider that the strike is unjust because it will affect the ordinary workers.
Transport director, Sandra Escorcia said that the government will make sure that public transport users will not suffer.
“The State has the responsibility to preserve the rights of business and the governmental and for that reason we will not allow drivers and owners to close the streets,” she said said
It appears that the government has a contingency plan and in case of astrike 30 buses will be put at strategic points to take people to their jobs.
The Public Works Ministry, Federico Suarez said that the Panamanian people cannot continue with a transport system that collapsed years ago.