Bus drivers in Japan strike by refusing to take money from passengers

04 May 2018 - 10:40 By TimesLIVE
Image: 123RF/Juan Antonio Barros Moreno

Striking Japanese bus drivers have embarked on an unusual strike by draping blankets over fare machines and giving everyone free rides.

Yes, you read that right.

According to Japan Today, the bus drivers embarked on the strike last week, but continued to drive their routes while refusing to take fares from passengers. The striking bus drivers in Okayama took the unusual tactic to demand better job security from their employers, the Ryobi Group.

Pictures shared to social media showed drivers draping blankets over their ticket fare machines: 

The protests were in reaction to the launch of a rival bus line Megurin which has some routes overlapping those of Ryobi and is offering a cheaper fare. 

This is not the first time bus-drivers have used such a tactic. Last year, bus drivers in Brisbane and Sydney held fare-free days as part of labour disputes.

Meanwhile back in South Africa, the national bus strike is set to intensify as unions accuse employers of not being willing to come to the negotiation table to resolve the impasse.

The unions have vowed to not back down on their demands and claim the employers have refused to meet them halfway during the mediation process.

The unions said they would be meeting on Friday to finalise details of mass action and protests in various parts of the country.

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