Vilnius public transport users challenge strike-eager bus drivers

  • 2000-06-29
VILNIUS (BNS) - A Vilnius public transport users pressure group has threatened with retaliatory protest actions if the public transport trade unions decide to call a strike again.

A group of people, referring to themselves as a passengers' strike organization committee of the Vilnius public transport users' pressure group, issued a statement on June 26 which reads that "public transport trade union leaders have been threatening long-term strike actions for some time already in an attempt to win unreasonable wage increases for bus and trolleybus drivers."

Jonas Kazimieras Burdulis, leader of the pressure group said "the time has come for the public transport users to join in this baffling dispute. It is also high time the leaders of trade unions realized it is the passengers who suffer from their strikes, and not the authorities."

Burdulis said the trade unions would come to their senses only when they realized the "passengers are able to organize themselves as well," and retaliate with their own protest actions.

He even described one of the actions in specific terms, saying that travelers who had completed their journey would hand over their used tickets to people getting on the bus or trolleybus so that, effectively, very few tickets would be sold that day.

A strike action organized by the Vilnius public transport workers on May 18 brought losses worth 70,000 litas to the company.