Shame on Hong Kong bus companies for paying drivers less just because they can
I am writing in response to your report, “Bus drivers earn 15 per cent less than in 1998, boss admits” (May 30). It appears that bus drivers’ monthly wages have actually fallen to around HK$15,000, compared to the HK$18,000 they used to earn two decades ago.
Samuel Cheng Wai-po, the managing director of Citybus and New World First Bus, admitted this, saying the lower wages were justified by the fact that drivers are low-skilled workers. Further, he said it is much easier to hire new staff these days since more people need jobs, and so the bus companies don’t have to pay more to hire new blood.
I find the management’s admission of paying drivers lower wages and the justification for this shocking and shameful. The comments are also irresponsible and scary, because of the consequences that this narrow and selfish mindset could have.
I take the bus every day and it would be easy to point out various flaws in the system and in the drivers as well. Moreover, there have been a number of road accidents lately in Hong Kong.
I would like to use this space to assert that driving a public bus is a valuable service for the benefit of the whole community. It comes with responsibilities, it requires skill, and it definitely deserves credit.
Massimo Sfriso, Pok Fu Lam