Commuters on all BRT terminals in Lagos State, were, Tuesday, stranded for hours when the Bus Rapid Transit BRT scheme drivers and ticketers embarked on an indefinite strike over unpaid salaries and reversed terms of service.
As early as 6am, the commuters, who were confident of boarding the buses, were disappointed when the boarding points were empty.
Vanguard gathered that the workers had initially convened an emergency meeting at about 5.45am at Majidun loading station before proceeding on the strike.
As soon as the meeting was over, the protesting workers barricaded the BRT route to prevent any bus from leaving the premises of the company or ply the route but the protest was carefully managed to prevent break down of law and order in the axis.
During Vanguard’s visit, to the station, some of the workers lamented that their terms of service had been reversed.
They also protested unpaid salaries for the month of July and breach of agreement by management.
Some of the drivers who spoke on condition of anonymity said for the past four months, the management had slashed salaries from N60,000 to N45,000 and effort to get them to revert it proved abortive.
Also, the workers said the performance bonus of N20,000 to N14,000.
One of the drivers who spoke on condition of anonymity said the management had initially issued a letter of appointment in November stating N60,000 as salaries only to issue another one recently stating N45,000.
Apart from this, any driver who does not record an accident in a month is entitled to a performance allowance of N20,000 (Twenty-Thousand Naira) but this has been slashed to N14,000 (Fourteen Thousand Naira) in the new letter. He said, “They sanction us anyhow and cut salaries and allowances. Our working hours are from 6am to 2pm and 2pm to 10pm but this has been extended without prior notice. Apart from this, there is no provision for staff bus and if one closes late, he is forced to pass the night in the office or risk being attacked by hoodlums.”
Meanwhile, the situation created a great opportunity for commercial buses as they charge astronomically.
As at 2pm, meetings were being held at Majidun station.
Lagos State Commissioner for Transport Dr. Dayo Mobereola however said the incident will be resolved.