A group of KMB bus drivers behind a strike over the weekend have said they will take no further action after talks with management resulted in a “preliminary success.” The strike action was initiated by the newly-established Alliance of Monthly-Paid Bus Drivers over salary reforms rolled out in the aftermath of the fatal Tai Po crash, which left 19 dead.

kmb bus strike
Yip Wai-lam. Photo: In-Media.

The alliance were demanding that a bus drivers’ review system be scrapped; that KMB and the government do more to educate passengers on bus etiquette; and for the views of low-level bus drivers to be heard when the company formulates policies.

Lam Tsz-ho – KMB’s deputy communications head – told reporters that there was a pleasant atmosphere at an hour-long meeting with Alliance spokesperson Yip Wai-lam on Monday.

kmb bus strike
Photo: In-Media.

He said that the annual bonus is allocated based on the driver review mechanism, but will consider the suggestion of scrapping the system. He also said the company understood the pressure faced by frontline drivers, with some being harassed or even assaulted, and will work with the police in seeking a feasible solution.

Responding to the third demand about listening to drivers’ views, Lam said: “We treat all our employees equally and all employees can express their opinions through established channels. This instance is no exception. With regards to staff benefits, the company will listen to the wishes of every employee.”

kmb bus strike
Drivers bow in apology to the public for inconvenience caused by the strike action. Photo: In-Media.

“We are very happy that the company’s management has taken positive steps towards our three demands. With these demands, we have already achieved a preliminary success,” Yip said in the early hours of Tuesday morning, announcing that no further labour action will be taken by the alliance.

Yip also said that she had a greeting for the company: “A single spark can start a prairie fire.”

“We succeeded because… people can see your passion, your sincerity,” Yip said, adding that she only hoped bus drivers could drive without being under too much pressure and passengers could be safe.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.