by With Sabc News

Luxury liners bus drivers join strike

Another union calls on members to down tools

Luxury liners bus drivers join strike.
Bus strike

Bus drivers for luxury liners will join the nationwide strike today, following a meeting of the Transport Omnibus Workers Union (Towu).

Bus drivers at Johannesburg’s Reya Vaya Bus Rapid Transit system were also expected to join the strike yesterday.

According to the SABC,  the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration has invited employers and the unions to reconvene deadlocked wage talks today.

In another development, the Road Freight Association has asked members to take note that two strikes may have an indirect effect on the road freight sector.

It reports that staff of the Road Freight Bargaining Council are also currently on strike due to a strike notice issued by the union representing council staff, Saccawu.

It will run from 22 to 24 April but council management have put contingency plans in place, the RFA says.

Referring to the bus strike, the RFA claims that the strike by Satawu and Tawu members is unrelated to the road freight transport industry.

“The two  strikes are unrelated and do not include employees employed by companies falling under the scope of council. It should be noted however, that these strikes may have an indirect impact on service delivery in the road freight sector,” the RFA statement said.

Meanwhile, bus commuters have expressed their desperation for transport as the bus drivers strike enters a third day on Tuesday.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union and the employer are no closer to a wage deal, the SABC reports.

Workers are demanding an 18% salary increase. However, the SA Bus Employers' Association says the demands are unrealistic and has offered them a 6.5% increase.

Affected passengers remain deserted at bus terminals and packed taxi ranks all across the country.

"Taxis take time to come and it’s just hectic. They come very slow, and I didn't know about the strike, honestly. I’m sad because, as you can see, the buses are not running and we need to get to school on time," says a bus commuter.

"We usually buy weekly and monthly tickets for the bus. Now they are useless because we cannot use them. At school there is a policy that they lock the gate if you are late. Now it's eight o'clock, so we don't know if we're going to write 'cause it’s going to be eight o'clock soon and we're going to get locked out. So, this bus strike is really affecting us," says another unhappy passenger. 

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