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NOBA strike suspended pending talks


September 25, 2006 – 9:00 am update

Bus drivers were back on the job this morning pending a meeting with Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves who is expected to return to the island this evening.

More than one hundred members of the National Omni Buses Association (NOBA) voted last night to suspend all industrial actions pending this latest round of talks.

Meanwhile NOBA’s cause continues to be strengthened by the gestures of persons sympathetic to their cause. During a two hour radio programme last Thursday persons called in and pledged assistance to the association. This is in addition to other monies raised when members of NOBA converged on Heritage Square last Friday. NOBA’s public relation officer, Len Grant, confirmed that the organization has already collect close to $4,000.

After the initial call to strike on Wednesday NOBA saw a cooling of the heat on Thursday as the financial impact of not working broke the back of several of their comrades. A public relations campaign targeting its members was waged by the executive and gusto returned for Friday’s action.

NOBA is continuing to refuse government’s offer of a fuel subsidy against that of a fare increase. Prime Minister Gonsalves said the government’s stance is in the interest of the poor and working class persons.

Meanwhile the Chamber of Commerce has offered to mediate the dispute. The government has accepted but NOBA has not yet responded.

The strike action disrupted but did not close businesses. Some places reported that some workers did not show up while others noted a drop in the number of shoppers.