Bus strike drags on

The ongoing bus strike could continue for another week after another round of talks facilitated by the Department of Labour collapsed on Tuesday April 24.

Bus drivers affiliated to the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) downed tools on Wednesday April 18, leaving thousands of bus users across the nation battling for transport.

MyCiTi and Golden Arrow Bus Services were as a result forced to suspend their services.

Satawu national spokesperson, Zanele Sabele, confirmed yesterday, Wednesday April 25, that the negotiations had collapsed.

After their initial demand of 12%, she said unions are now demanding a 9%increase for the first year, and 8%for second year but that could only be paid on May 1. The employer is offering 8%.

Ms Sabela said the bus strike would continue to hurt commuters, but workers have no other option.

She said affected unions have decided to intensify the strike, accusing employers of “negotiating in bad faith”.

“Unions were more than willing to settle for an 8% wage increment as opposed to the initial 12%they had hoped for but bus bosses refused to budge. But we have since put a request to the Minister of Labour, Nelisiwe Oliphant, to intervene,” said Ms Sabela.

Golden Arrow spokesperson, Bronwen Dyke-Beyer, said that the company sympathised with its workers and hoped sanity would prevail.

“We are hoping that there will be a resolution soon for everyone’s sake.

“We would also like to remind our passengers to retain their clipcards as there will be a blanket extension in place once services resume,” she said.