-will wait for money until Thursday
Bus owners who render their services to the National Transport Company (NVB) on Monday blocked the road in front of Parliament with their buses to demand payment. The buses had been parked on both lanes of the street from the entrance to Parliament to the bridge near the Baba and Mai Square. After the chairwoman of Parliament, Jenny Simons, had listened to their problems and had indicated that she regretted the fact that they have to wait this long for their money, the bus owners decided to end the strike on Tuesday and to wait for a response from the government. The bus owners then removed their buses from the road. Reports indicate that they want to receive payment before Friday. “If that does not happen, we will go on strike again,” said the bus owners. The chairwoman pointed out that she understands their problems and promised to contact Finance Minister Gillmore Hoefdraad regarding the payment issue. The minister of Transport, Communication and Tourism (TCT) claimed that his ministry has done its part and that the minister of Finance must take care of the rest. Simons also pointed out that she realizes that the government has limited funds and that it has to turn this way and that but that it should not be 4 months behind with the payments. Several members of the opposition also expressed their disapproval regarding the fact that the government is turning bus owners into beggars. The chairman of the Organization of Bus and Boat Owners (OBS), Kenneth Themen, appreciated the fact that the MPs from the opposition expressed their concerns and support but made it clear that the OBS is not playing a political game. “The campaign is pure because we just want the money that we are entitled to.” Needless to say that the road block created a traffic jam. Many people who were stuck in the traffic jam and the people who take the state bus to work every day could not reach their work place because of Monday’s strike. Themen made it clear that the bus owners will not settle for partial payments but that they want to receive all of their money. “Every month we will let our voices be heard.” The bus owners who will wait for their money until Thursday hope that they will never have to go on strike again.