Bus drivers ordered to return to work

2012-10-18 09:28

The Labour Court has ruled that Rea Vaya bus drivers in Joburg must end their strike and return to work, the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) has said.

Samwu spokesperson Phumlile Shange said the order was made yesterday.

“This is an interim ruling and we are meant to meet with the employer of the bus drivers to discuss this further,” she said.

The court gave Samwu 25 days to contest the decision.

Piotrans, the company contracted to the city to operate the first phase of the bus service, said it had met and reached an agreement with workers.

“The buses should be operating as usual from this afternoon,” said Piotrans spokesperson Dumisani Mntambo.

He said it still planned to meet the unions to discuss the drivers’ demands.

“We have an open-door policy and we are willing to address their concerns.”

Commuters have been stranded since Monday, when bus drivers decided to go on strike.

Piotrans failed to reach an agreement on a labour dispute with the bus drivers on Friday, and a strike notice was issued.

Samwu said it was demanding an increase in workers’ salaries and better employment conditions.

The union also wanted a change in the shift system, because the one currently being used was “strenuous, and slavery”.

It also called on Piotrans to pay workers’ contributions to a provident fund from the time they were employed.

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