Bus drivers in Saint Lucia want frontline worker status amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The President of National Council on Public Transportation (NCOPT) made the position of the drivers clear.
Godfrey Ferdinand spoke in an interview with St Lucia Times.
Ferdinand referred to the many interviews he has heard with government officials and others.
But he observed that they have never referred to bus operators as being frontline workers.
“And not for once have they treated us as frontline workers,” Ferdinand told St Lucia Times.
As a result, the NCOPT President noted that while other sectors are getting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), bus drivers are not.
“Even in their statement and the rollout of the vaccine, you do not hear them mentioning bus operators as frontline workers,” Ferdinand explained.
He noted that emergency personnel with PPE transport people whom they suspect to have COVID-19 to Victoria Hospital.
“What presently happens is that they release these individuals from Victoria Hospital and they go on public buses,” Ferdinand noted.
“We are exposed like everybody else,” the NCOPT official asserted.
He also told St Lucia Times that when the authorities ask everyone else to stay home, bus drivers are working.
“We are frontline workers,” Ferdinand declared.
And he contended that bus drivers are also essential workers.
But he lamented that the authorities are not treating bus drivers that way.