Japanese Bus Drivers Go on Strike by Giving Free Rides to Commuters

While going on strike is an effective means of getting a message across, there are times when it causes tremendous inconvenience to the general public.

With the commuters’ concerns in mind, a transport group seeking to ensure their job security in Okayama, Japan, recently went on an unusual strike where they continue to operate and even gave rides for free.

Bus drivers working with Ryobi Group took to the streets but chose to continue driving their routes while refusing to take fares from passengers, according to SoraNews24.

Their main complaint involved a new rival bus line Megurin, which started operating on Friday with some routes that overlap with those of Ryobi. The competition not only features some adorable new buses but it also offers a comparatively cheaper fare.

Feeling threatened, Ryobi drivers declared a strike to seek improvements from the local management to compete with the new buses fairly.

Management would often use such strikes against the drivers, appealing to the public that the drivers are being selfish and disregarding the needs of the community.

In a bid to show that they are merely sending their message across, Ryobi drivers still operated on strike day while not accepting payment from commuters.

It is yet to be seen if such a tactic wILL work in favor of the drivers, as the outcome of the labor dispute has not been reported on local media.

Meanwhile, netizens are divided about the drivers’ unique strike, with many concerned about how it will all fare for the bus company and the drivers.

“I think it is a good way to protect the company image in the long run, but I wonder how this affects both sides’ bargaining positions,” a netizen pointed out.

“I think stopping the buses altogether would put more pressure on management,” one commenter suggested.

“The idea is neat, but I think the money saved from wages and the value of free advertisement this action is creating means the company is still doing okay,” another one noted.

“This is a great idea, I like that they are trying different ways to get what they want,” a netizen wrote.

Images via YouTube / ksb5ch

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