South Africa: 'Unrecognised' Union Hobbles Joburg Bus Operations

analysis

A strike by the Democratic Municipal and Allied Workers' Union of South Africa (Demawusa) had a major impact on Johannesburg bus operations on the first day of industrial action by several Metrobus drivers.

The strike, which was not expected to have much impact given the small number of striking Demawusa-affiliated employees, ended up affecting 40% of Metrobus operations. Only about 100 Demawusa-affiliated drivers were expected to take part, compared with more than 700 drivers belonging to the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu,) who said they were not taking part in the strike.

"Given the fact that schools opened today and that we were slowly getting back to normality regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been affected a great deal," Metrobus spokesperson Goodwill Shiburi said.

"The company's second-largest depot was not operational in the morning. This depot's buses pick up people from the south and bring them closer to the inner city, then other depots' buses pick them up from Gandhi Square and take them to other areas," said Shiburi.

"It's a very key depot -- you need it to operate, but it was not operational. Not even one bus came out of that depot this morning," he said.

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