Fresh `boom boom' strike call ignored
Guyana Chronicle
February 9, 2002

PLANS for a fresh mass strike by mini-buses operating in and around Georgetown and on main routes along the coast yesterday, fizzled into a damp squib as the majority of buses stayed on their regular routes.

Organisers had urged bus operators to turn up at the 1763 Monument Square in Georgetown from 07:00 hrs yesterday and to stay off the routes to back a range of demands.

But unlike last week when most joined an all-week strike to protest the Police campaign against `boom boom' (big music) boxes on the vehicles, only a few turned up for yesterday's intended show of strength.

Bus runs were normal in and around Georgetown, along the East Coast and East Bank Demerara, on the Georgetown-Rosignol, Timehri and Linden routes and on the West Bank and West Coast Demerara.

At the start of the planned strike, there were only three mini-buses at the square and later about a dozen more showed up.

But it was business as usual at the parks in the city and on the other runs.

There was heightened Police presence at the parks but no incidents were reported.

During last week's protest, the tyres of several non-striking buses were punctured and operators attacked.

Police said several persons were arrested for attacking non-strikers.

The decision for the mini-bus operators to resume strike action yesterday was taken at a news conference held at the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) headquarters in Georgetown Thursday, which was attended by some operators and owners of mini-buses who raised several areas of concern they said needed urgent attention.

Media reports said the owners and operators want, among other things, the Government and the Police Force to provide a safer working environment for them.

The opposition to the $30,000 fine for having the `boom boom' boxes, which reportedly triggered the protests last week, was not among the major demands outlined for the strike resumption.

Last week, mini-bus operators plying the Georgetown-Rosignol route started the strike action because of the fine imposed for boom boom sets in the buses.

That strike spread to other parts of the country except the Essequibo Coast which was not affected.