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October 6, 2006

BEWARE! NOBA may strike without warning


On any given morning without notice NOBA minibuses could be off the road.

This is because talks have broken down and the National Omni Buses Association (NOBA) has refused to meet again with Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

“It was unanimously agreed that the Executive attend no continuation meetings save as such as many be convened by the Transport Board in accordance with the directives hand down by the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act Chapter 355 of the laws of the State”, NOBA president Herman Preddie wrote in a letter dated October 4, 2006 to Prime Minister Gonsalves.{{more}}

In that letter, which was in response to a September 29 meeting of both parties, NOBA was upset that the matter of a fare increase was not being treated in the light and spirit that it was proposed but instead is linked to political motive.

“Moreover your continuous interventions, asides and direct accusations, that we are politically motivated (partisan politics), clearly indicated the mindset of adamant and flat refusal to “discuss” our application for an increase in fares” the letter states.

Hans King, the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary, said that no offence has been taken to the decision as it was NOBA’s right to meet with whomsoever it wishes. However, the Prime Minister wondered if the association understood that any decision taken by the Transport Board has to be approved by Cabinet.

NOBA also said that their research showed that within three months there would be a drastic increase in the price of fuel, sending gasoline prices to a staggering $15 per gallon – a claim that stumped Prime Minister Gonsalves.

Through his press secretary, Gonsalves questioned the validity of NOBA’s research team.

“The Prime minister wants to know where their research team got such information because he has no such plans” stated King.

Attorney for NOBA, Vynette Frederick, said that NOBA has already strategised on a response and has several options available including further strike action.