Dutch bus drivers harrassed by passengers
Passenger aggression toward bus drivers is a continual problem in the Netherlands.
THE HAGUE—Bus drivers say they are continuing to be threatened, scolded or spat on by passengers. A complaints centre set up by the FNV trade union received 300 complaints about aggression last week.
The drivers say there is a lack of professional help and claim they are being made to go back to work too quickly after being harrassed by the public. Other complaints focused on the tight timetables. Drivers often find that passengers are frustrated because their bus is late.
The complaints centre is part of a union project intended to improved security on buses. The drivers' experiences will be included in an inventory of grievances which will be published by the union later this month.
The action comes after a series of incidents. Only last week, drivers in the town of Ede near Arnhem went on strike for a couple of hours to protest at the aggressive behaviour of some passengers.
One week ago a 17-year-old youth in the southern town of Tilburg was arrested for an assault on a bus driver in late January.
In October 2008, tension mounted in the city of Gouda after a bus driver was robbed at knifepoint, allegedly by Moroccan youths.
Although no connection with any Moroccans could be established, drivers refused for a couple of days to drive their buses through the neighbourhood where the incident took place, citing earlier instances of aggression.