BRT Lite bus drivers protest accident policy, punished driver
BRT Lite buses did not run on November 14 because drivers went on strike against company policies related to insurance and accidents.
Ko Ta Yoke Lay, who is negotiating on behalf of drivers, said that they have issues with how the company handles accidents and the punishment of one specific driver.
If a driver gets in an accident, they are docked K23,000 and do not receive a salary while the bus is being repaired.
‘’As far as I know, all BRT buses have comprehensive insurance,” he said. “When an accident happens, the insurance company pays compensation for the damages. But company still cuts the money from the driver’s salary. All bus drivers have signed this agreement. But the bus drivers do not want to pay and they feel that the insurance company should cover that cost.”
By law, the insurance company determines how much compensation should be paid out for damages and traffic police take action against the drivers, if necessary.
The other complaint bus drivers have is that a bus driver was caught stealing bus fares on CCTV and was sent to the police station, Ko Ta Yoke Lay said.
“The company took action against him to make an example of him, so that other drivers do not commit a similar act,” he said. “But bus drivers thought this was unfair.”
The real reason they reported him to the police, he said, is because it was the full moon holiday and they did not want to pay the accused driver overtime.
Ka Ta Yoke Lay went to Yangon Bus Public Company (YBPC) director U Maung Aung and asked for permission to negotiate, which was granted. Eventually, the drivers agreed to work again.
“The CEO of YBPC said that overtime pay is not including in the contract,” Ko Ta Yoke Lay said. “If the bus drivers are not willing to drive, the company will stop their buses.”
Chair U Maung Aung told The Myanmar Times that all buses are running normally. He added that the contract does not state that workers will be paid double on official holidays.
“We acted according to the law,” U Maung Aung said. “We proved that the bus driver was stealing the money and we took action. That is all.”
YBPC is a public-private partnership, which was set up with K10 billion from the government and K2.5 million from five private companies. BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) Lite started running in February.
The buses use a card system, rather than human conductors, have air conditioning, and run systematically, making them popular among commuters.