Drivers and operators to launch 3-day transport strike and national action against jeepney phaseout

This article is available in Pilipino

Jeep drivers and operators under the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper and Operator Nationwide (Piston) are set to launch a three-day transport strike and nation-wide protests starting tomorrow, April 29, up to May 1. Piston declared the protests as a response to the Marcos regime’s scheduled phaseout of non-consolidated Public Utility Vehicles (PUV) on April 30 in the push of the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP).

Unions under Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and All Workers Unity (AWU) are also supporting the action, in conjunction with the marking of International Labor Day. The youth group Anakbayan has also expressed full support. “This is now do or die! We will not allow 200,000 drivers and operators to lose their livelihoods. We will not allow the transport crisis to worsen for 28.5 million commuters,” according to the group.

In Piston’s statement on April 27, the day the strike was announced, the group emphasized the pain and suffering caused by the PUVMP. They also demanded that the Marcos regime revert to awarding individual franchises to the operators.

According to Ruben Baylon, Deputy Secretary General of Piston, PUVMP’s utter failure is exposed because the foreign units being sold as a replacement for jeeps are now inoperable, and it has even buried many in debt. Piston and other transport groups have long pushed to implement a rehabilitation program instead of the importation of minibuses.

A Piston Women representative also spoke at the announcement of the transport strike. According to Angelica Maranan, operator and wife of a driver, they fully support the launching of the strike. She said the life and livelihood of many families, as well as the education and future of their children depend on transport and jeeps.

Jerome Adonis, KMU secretary general, also extended the committed support from the ranks of workers nationwide. He asserted workers have all the reasons to join the three-day strike. It said this will have a big impact on the daily wages of the workers, especially if fares increase, which may happen in the future if imported “modern jeeps” become the norm.

With Piston’s announcement, widespread action on major roads in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Bicol, and in the cities of Baguio and Cebu are expected.

AB: Drivers and operators to launch 3-day transport strike and national action against jeepney phaseout