South Africa 17.4.2018 06:25 am

Nationwide bus strike on cards if talks stall today

A woman is seen walking among the buses stranded at the Tshwane Depot after workshop personel stopped drivers from leaving with their busses during a protest against outsourcing workers, 19 October 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

A woman is seen walking among the buses stranded at the Tshwane Depot after workshop personel stopped drivers from leaving with their busses during a protest against outsourcing workers, 19 October 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

No agreement has been reached over three months of negotiations between five trade unions and bus company bosses.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) is warning that bus workers may soon go on a nationwide strike.

If employers do not agreed to their demands by the end of today’s meeting, the strike could go ahead.

Satawu and four other transport workers’ unions that belong to the South African Bargaining Council have been in talks with their employers’ association, the Commuter Bus Employers’ Organisation, and the SA Bus Employers’ Association, since January.

The four other unions are: the Transport and Allied Workers’ Union of SA; the Transport and Omnibus Workers’ Union; the National Union of Metalworkers of SA and Tirisano Transport Workers’ Union.

Since no agreement has been reached over the three months of negotiations, the five members of the bargaining council were now considering a nationwide strike across all sectors.

Satawu spokesperson Zanele Sabela said the transport workers were demanding a one-year agreement to a 12% increase and for the basic minimum wage to go up from R6 070 to R8 000 a month.

The employers were offering a three-year agreement going up to 7.5% on the third year, with no change to the minimum wage.

Other demands from the unions include compensation for sleeping out while on duty, changes to the nightshift stipulation and full pay for dual drivers travelling long distances.

Sabela said the five unions were adamant their members would strike unless employers put an offer on the table that helped workers to cope with the increase in personal tax rates and VAT.

Also read: Tshwane bus services suspended over drivers’ strike

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