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Wednesday, June 26 2019 @ 10:52 PM UTC

Broce - "The Strike Is On" (Last Great Act Of Defiance?)

Protests & Demonstrations By Manuel Vega Loo for La Prensa - Transportation union leader Dionel Broce told La Prensa that the transportation strike scheduled for Tuesday, 11 August 2009, will in fact go on. Broce said during his 63 years he has never retreated. "I've never gone backwards in my entire life," he said. He said that as of today, Saturday afternoon, they still have not had any contact with the government commission. "We only have the information given by the president's spokesman in the media." He said those bus drivers who use the Pedregal terminal as their base and others will stop working on Tuesday. Transportation workers, meaning bus owners and drivers, organized this strike because they want to receive compensation for leaving the current public transport system. (See Comments)

Editor's Comment: Several members of Ricardo Martinelli's cabinet have indicated his government has no intentions of paying any of the existing bus owners or drivers any kind of "compensation" as part of their plans to modernize Panama's public transportation system. These people have been working under "concessions" given by the government for literally decades. There are groups of bus owners who have strangle-hold monopolistic grips of control on sectors of the transportation industry. And, these same people regularly exercise their relative power over the government by organizing these strikes. The administration of Mireya Moscoso spent five years trying to figure out how to "fix" the public transportation problem. Their solution involved giving low cost loans, backed by the National Bank, so people could buy new buses to replace the aging Diablo Rojos. One of the buses purchased under that program was the bus that caught on fire and killed 18 people. Martin Torrijos also was unable to come up with a solution, even though they had the perfect opportunity to do practically whatever they wanted. The fatal bus fire happened on his watch, and the public would have supported just about anything at that point, but still they failed to come up with an actual solution. From what I've seen so far, I think Dionel Broce and the rest of the transportation sector is seriously underestimating the will of Ricardo Martinelli. If they fail to get in their buses and drive on Tuesday morning, then he can simply order the police to impound the buses and pull their license plates. He can also cancel the concessions held by the bus owners, and cancel the commercial driver's licences held by the bus drivers who go on strike. Then, he can turn around and grant the concessions to someone else, who is willing to actually do the damn job. I'm waiting for someone to say "screw these guys" and actually have the balls to tell them to pound sand. This is public transportation, not private, and these guys hold way too much power in their hands. In fact, I bet Martinelli is sitting at his dining room table, secretly hoping they actually do go on strike, so that he can come down hard and send a loud and clear message. Anyway, it's going to be an interesting week in hoo-ville...

Broce: ‘El paro va’

Manuel Vega Loo De prensa.com mvega@prensa.com LA PRENSA/Archivo

Dionel Broce

2:42 p.m. - El dirigente transportista, Dionel Broce, le aseguró a Prensa.com que el paro del sector transporte público se realizará siempre el martes 11 de agosto.

Broce indicó hoy, sábado, que a sus 63 años nunca ha retrocedido. “Nunca he ido hacia atrás en la historia de mi vida”, reiteró.

El dirigente recordó que hasta la tarde de hoy, sábado, no ha tenido ningún contacto con la comisión de Gobierno. “Solo tenemos las informaciones que ha dado la vocera del Presidente en los medios de comunicación”.

Enfatizó que la piquera de Pedregal y otras paralizarán sus labores el martes.

Los transportistas organizaron el paro porque quieren recibir una indemnización por dejar el actual sistema de transporte público.

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Broce - "The Strike Is On" (Last Great Act Of Defiance?) | 2 comments | Create New Account
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Broce - "The Strike Is On" (Last Great Act Of Defiance?)
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, August 08 2009 @ 10:57 PM UTC


Martinelli isn't worried about alientating a voting block. He knows that the furor of the bus owners and drivers will evaporate long before his time in office is up. He knows he can ruffle some feathers now without causing long term problems.

Broce - "The Strike Is On" (Last Great Act Of Defiance?)
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 09 2009 @ 12:45 PM UTC

This threat is nothing short of extortion. There is no reason to "pay-off" these thugs literally for nothing in return.

I believe the best solution would be for the Panamanian Government to offer job placement of the displaced workers into the new mass transportation system.

Since current mass transportation employees have special licenses and documentation; they are already identified and documented by the Government.

It will take several years before the new mass transportation system starts to come on-line. As the new system gradually replaces the old...the laborers would simply transfer over with no or little change to their livelihood. As a matter-of-fact, with a new economical and energy efficient mass transportation system, employees in the new system could be paid more that what they are currently being paid.

One note - Personally I would implement a screening system to make sure people are qualified and safe before placing them in a position where lives could be at stake. There is nothing wrong with random drug screening, medical health screening, etc., before allowing them to drive a train or Metro.

Rusty