JUTC buses parked in protest against police abuse of driverMonday, November 29, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) staff are now off the job in protest against the arrest of a driver last Friday by the police in downtown Kingston.
OBSERVER ONLINE has learnt that the arrest was the latest in what JUTC staff say is a series of abuse of the company's drivers by police.
“In Friday's incident a policeman parked his private car in a lay by at North Parade downtown and the bus came into the lay by behind it. The policeman wanted to reverse and told the driver to reverse. However the driver refused as we don't reverse buses in the lay by because it is dangerous as commuters can get crushed,” JUTC Deputy Managing Director Owen Smith told OBSERVER ONLINE a short while ago.
“A marked police car came by and the information I have is that the policeman who wanted the driver to reverse told his colleagues to 'deal with him'. That resulted in the driver being arrested and slapped with three charges,” Smith said.
He said the company spent the weekend speaking with drivers, trying to avoid them taking this kind of action “but there have been so many other instances where police have hit drivers, pulled them off the buses that people have just reached their limit,” Smith said.
The company has set its communication machinery in motion to inform the public while it tries to get the drivers back to work.