South Africa: Bus Drivers On Strike

Photo: Golden Arrow
Golden Arrow bus

Johannesburg — Bus drivers embarked on a national wage strike on Friday, leaving commuters stranded.

"All our drivers did not turn up for work this morning, there are no buses running," said Putco spokesman Romeo More.

The SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) announced the strike on Thursday and said it was a result of a wage negotiations deadlock.

Errol Braithwaite, spokesman for the Gautrain company Bombela Concession, said none of the Gautrain buses were operating.

"We are waiting to hear what comes out of the negotiations at the bargaining council," Braithwaite said.

Joburg Metrobus spokeswoman Esther Dreyer said municipal buses were operating across the city.

Workers were demanding an 18 percent wage increase and the employers had offered only 2.5 percent, said Satawu spokesman Vincent Masoga.

However, Barry Gie, chief executive of the Commuter Bus Employers Organisation, which is part of the negotiations at the bargaining council, said employers had put a 6.5 percent offer on the table.

He said the unions' claim of a 2.5 percent offer was "misleading".

"Negotiations are a two-way process; both parties need to compromise in order to resolve the dispute... the unions are misleading the public."

Workers were also demanding a minimum wage of R6000 a month across the industry, a R1000 housing allowance, and an increase in medical aid contributions, said Gie.

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