Docking bus driver pay now a hot issue

Docking the pay of bus drivers is becoming a major issue with the national association of unions coming down on the side of the drivers.

The Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados said Wednesday that the Ministerio de Trabajo already has issued a directive saying that docking the pay of bus drivers is illegal.

The legislature is considering a bill to prohibit such activities. The Comisión Permanente de Asuntos Jurídicos reported out last week a bill that would require bus company owners to install a due process procedure before they dock salaries of drivers.

Most buses have electronic portals that register the number of passengers. When the driver turns in less money than the passenger count says he should, many companies deduct the difference from the driver’s pay.

Carlos López, a spokesman for the transportation industry, set off a firestorm Wednesday when El Diario Extra published comments he made in an interview. The Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados  claims he suggested bus drivers were close to being crooks. He did say that the legislative bill, if passed, would sabotage the bus companies.

The union association says the drivers are the ones being exploited and abused. The union group supports the bill, which is likely to be passed considering the makeup of the current legislature.

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