Even though the Ministry of Business on its Facebook page said that the United Minibus Union (UMU) has agreed to the adoption of the Code of Conduct to monitor the behaviour of operators, President of the UMU, Eon Andrews, says he is yet to sign the code.
The Business Ministry in a Facebook post on Friday stated, “The United Minibus Union (UMU) has agreed to the adoption of a Code of Conduct for minibus operators countrywide”.
When this publication contacted Andrews on Friday he was unreachable.
The Head of the Union later came out saying that he never signed to the document. In fact he argued that he never even got to read the final Code of Conduct, but had access to the draft.
However, on Saturday when asked by this publication if he had any issues with the matters to be addressed by the Code of Conduct, Andrews responded in the negative.
He explained that he was only concerned with a few things which includes who will be responsible for enforcing the code, as only the Guyana Police Force was mentioned.
According to him, there are certain areas in the Code of Conduct which should be dealt with by the Consumer Department of the Business Ministry.
Also when it comes to uniformity, the President of the Union said he is still wondering who will bear the expenses and see the implementation of this part.
He also raised concerns about other issues not being dealt with in the code of conduct, such as ‘hot plate’ parking on the bus parks, among others.
Another issue that he raised was the fact that this publication’s most recent report on the matter said the code of conduct takes immediate effect.
This was clearly stated in the Business Ministry’s sensitization message, also posted on its Facebook page.
The link to the video is attached below: https://www.facebook.com/minbusiness/videos/364685414314633/?epa=SEARCH_BOX
INews reported on Friday that among the areas which will be addressed is the operators’ mode of dress, language and behaviour.
This means that operators will not be allowed to wear inappropriate clothing, exposing themselves, use indecent language and treat passengers in a hostile manner.
In fact, operators will now be mandated to wear a uniform, along with an identification badge, which should include the name of the organization of association.
They will also be expected to help the elderly, if needed, and not force them to hurry and be seated, while at the same time treat foreigners who speak different languages in a respectable and hospitable manner.
The code of conduct also states that persons belonging to vulnerable groups such as children and the differently-able be treated with care.
The new document will also prohibit minibus drivers from making stops, except at bus stops.
They will also be expected to play their music at comfortable levels for their passengers and not have derogatory images or words on the interior or exterior of the buses.
The code of conduct also reinforces other laws, with regards to overloading and others.
The fare structures, according to the code of conduct must be visible to passengers.
Passengers are now being asked to contact the Guyana Police Force, should the code of conduct be violated by these operators.