Taibah University drivers on strike

MADINA: Bus drivers transporting female students at Taibah University here went on strike Saturday because they say their salary was too low.

The drivers, who said they receive SR2,000 per month despite a recent Royal Decree setting the minimum wage for Saudi workers at SR3,000, threatened to abandon their vehicles if their salaries are not raised to the minimum.

Drivers picked up the female students from their houses in the morning and went on strike after taking them home. “We were not planning to drop the girls off at their houses, but we could not resist their calls to get home on time,” said one driver, who asked to remain anonymous. The bus company’s representative has threatened to sue one driver for provoking his colleagues to strike, the driver said.

The accused driver denied the accusation and said, “It is the demand of all of us. We can’t tolerate pay freezes.”

Working for the bus company has been difficult, he added. “The company has always been negligent of the drivers’ demands for better pay and incentives, and always threatened to fire them if they kept pressing their demands,” he said.

The manager of the bus company’s Madina branch said the drivers’ demands are illegal and added that the matter has been cleared up.“The issue has been resolved,” said Shabib Al-Rashidi.

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