Bus driver strike goes on indefinitely

Unions vow to fight for better wages

The strike by members of the trade union Satawu who are on strike say there is no end in sight to the protest action.
Bus driver strike to continue

The national strike by bus driver members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and the Transport and Omnibus Workers Union, is to continue indefinitely.

Satawu secretary in Mahikeng, Alfred Boboko, says they will not stop until their demands are met.

The strike has left thousands of commuters stranded.

Wage talks between bus companies and unions have been deadlocked since February.

Unions are demanding an 18% salary hike, while employers are offering a 6.5% increase.

The strike started on Friday with Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport, roads and stormwater in Cape Town, saying this strike could affect all public transport modes in the city.

This includes the MyCiTi bus — which would experience minor disruptions — and Metrorail, as the suspension of Golden Arrow Bus Services would lead to an increased demand on other modes of public transport, and greater volumes of private vehicles on the roads.

"We request that employers assist us by considering how they can accommodate their employees [to] travel to and from work when public transport is constrained, by allowing flexible working hours commencing before or after the peak period."

Herron said that Cape Town had established a joint operations centre to monitor the strike and provide enhanced security to ensure that commuters could travel safely.

Commuters at the Sandton Gautrain station, north of Johannesburg, said they were not informed about the bus strike.

Some said they only found out about the industrial action when they got to the station.

Commuters in several areas in the North West province have also been affected by the bus strike.

This is after the South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council failed to meet the demands of the drivers' union.

The union and the Omnibus Workers Union tabled a joint list of 24 demands that included a 20% across the board wage increase.

 

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