South Africa 20.7.2018 09:56 pm

Public transportation not essential service, NUM tells CCMA

Picture: Jacques Nelles

Picture: Jacques Nelles

The union slammed an attempt to have it declared essential, saying it’s to prevent workers from being able to embark on legal strikes.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) today said it has made presentations to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration’s (CCMA) Essential Services Committee (ESC) which has been tasked with determining whether public transportation is an essential service.

The application to the ESC was made by the Black Consumer Council which claims that workers in the transportation sector should be categorised as essential services.

According to the union, the application was made in order to prevent workers from being able to embark on a legally protected strike.

“The Black Consumer Council based its claims on the fact that the community was greatly inconvenienced by the national bus strike which took place in March this year. They also based their claim on the impact that the strike had on the economy,” said the union in a statement.

“Numsa made presentations to the ESC to reject this application on the basis it does not meet the legal definition for what constitutes an essential service. Furthermore, there is no evidence that striking workers in the bus passenger sector resulted in the loss of life, which is the requirement in terms of the law. We view this application as nothing more than an attack on the right to strike, and we have opposed it.”

Earlier on Friday, the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) said it was also opposing BSC’s bid.

“Satawu will oppose the application on the basis that it is frivolous and seeks to strip the constitutional rights of workers to improve their working conditions,” the union said.

African News Agency (ANA)

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