Amid the ongoing strike conducted by the public transport operators across the island, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has condemned the disorder that has seemingly ensued following its commencement on Monday.
On Sunday, bus and taxi operators voted in favour of a three-day strike, demanding the government issue a ticket amnesty to grant them more time to pay for owed tickets following what they view as a more severe road traffic ticketing system. During today’s protests, various videos have emerged online revealing persons who were impeded from entering vehicles or forcibly removed from vehicles. The videos prompted the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to urge taxi operators and passengers who have been subjected to intimidation or harassment by “thugs” to report the perpetrators.
In a press release issued by the Office of the Prime Minister and shared on his Instagram page, Prime Minister Holness condemned what he described as lawlessness and disorder carried out by certain individuals during today’s protest. Holness began his statement by expressing his empathy for Jamaican commuters who were impacted by the strike and continued by congratulating them for their rejection of what he describes as unreasonable demands.
“Government will not support lawlessness and disorder and commends the public’s rejection of today’s protest actions and unreasonable demands, which fly in the face of the laws of our country,” the press release stated. The release noted the high number of road fatalities in the country, encouraged discipline among the motoring public, and went on to urge transport operators to recommence their services to commuters.
“We call on those who are engaging in the disruption of the transportation services to recognise that government will not relent in its efforts to build a better and more disciplined transport sector; we urge all compliant public transportation owners and operators to continue providing their services.”
In closing, the press release reinforced that individuals with outstanding tickets as a result of breaking the law must pay their fines as directed.
View the press release below.