Ceres drivers in Victorias go on strike

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Trips of Ceres Liner between Bacolod and Victorias route were delayed yesterday as drivers and conductors went on strike as they demand to reinstate their daily allowance in full after the management of the bus company cut it into half.

The cancellation of trips forced Vallacar Transit Incorporated, the operator of Ceres Liner, to deploy shuttle buses to ferry stranded passengers. Buses coming from Cadiz and Escalante also re-enforced by picking up passengers who queued in Victorias Terminal.

The temporary stoppage caused inconvenience on the side of the passengers who are mostly bound to Bacolod to work.

While the strike was totally peaceful, in a video posted online, however, some employees on strike were seen maligning a bus driver who picked up stranded passengers at the terminal.

In an interview, VTI Media Relations Officer Jade Seballos said that the strike was illegal as no prior notice was lodged by the group.

In a statement, VTI explained that the decision of reduction of the 50% tripping allowance starting this January 2021 was made in consultation with the union leaders. This tripping allowance was given unilaterally last year as an act of generosity by the management, it said.

It added: “While some factions of the Victorias drivers and conductors may not like the decision, most of the company drivers and conductors understand that, as members of one family, they need to do whatever they can. Moreover, during the Labor-Management meeting, they were made to understand that this is a temporary situation.”

The management hopes to reinstate this benefit by the end of March 2021.

According to the management the effects of COVID has caused a terrible blow to almost all industries, including their industry. Since March of last year up until now, VTI said there are still unserved areas by its company due to the quarantine protocols.