BRT Lite bus driv­ers protest ac­ci­dent pol­icy, pun­ished driver

The Myanmar Times - - News - AYE NYEIN WIN ayenyein­win@mm­

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.

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