Tuesday, August 9, 2016 3:54 pm
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Drivers of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and ticketers on Tuesday embarked on strike over non-payment of salaries and arrears by the management of the scheme.
All BRT plying routes in Lagos, especially on Ikorodu Road were off the road this morning as they decided to embark on strike to protest against the poor salaries they were being paid.
It was gathered that BRT staff receive around N50,000 pay package on monthly basis, but the management of the buses had not paid them for two months which led the drivers to embark on strike.
Commuters were stranded this morning along the routes being plied by BRT as passengers did not see the buses on the road.
The new BRT scheme is being run by Primero Transport Services Limited.
Mr Sulaiman Hamed, a member of staff said the management of the scheme was yet to collect their July salary and that their monthly bonus had been reduced due to “stringent conditions” attached to the collection of the bonus.
“Primero is maltreating us, we are being sanctioned unnecessarily by the company. Sometimes, they do give us two weeks suspension on any slight mistake and they will deduct the money of the days we didn’t work, as a result of the suspension, from our bonus,” Hamed said.
He also said that their salaries had been reduced from N50,000 to N40,000. “They have reduced our salaries from N60,000 to N40,000 under the pretence that we are lazy and our bonus was increased from N20,000 to N40,000.”
Managing Director, Primero Transport Services Limited, Fola Tinubu said the drivers were being paid N50,000 monthly salaries and N20,000 bonus.
He explained that some of the drivers would take the bus out and parked it somewhere without meeting up with the needed target and still collect the monthly salaries and bonuses.
According to him, what the management decided was to reduce the monthly salaries to N40,000 and increase the bonus to N40,000 so that those who did not work would only collect the N40,000 while those who meet up with the target would collect both.
He said the company would not tolerate a situation where some people who did not work would collect full salaries and bonuses, adding that those who did not work would not be paid.
Primero Transport Service Limited was recently given the sole franchise to manage the BRT scheme after the Lagos State Government terminated the National Union of Road Transport Workers, (NURTW) franchise.
Since Primero began its operation, the total number of buses in the fleet of the company has increased from 70 to 394 buses.