Metrorail strike near its end

2010-05-20 07:43

A strike by employees of Metrorail which had crippled services

throughout the country is nearing its end, according to the Passenger Rail

Agency of SA (Prasa).

“We’ve reached an agreement on all the terms. The unions now have

to go and get the mandate from their members,” said acting Prasa CEO Tumisang

Kgaboesele.

“We’re expecting that they will get the mandate.”

Kgaboesele said Prasa and union leaders would meet at 2.20pm to

sign the agreement after the mandate had been received.

The new agreement covered a 10% wage increase, four-months

maternity leave, new conditions of employment and – most importantly to Prasa

– moving to a 24-hour roster.

“It was important. The biggest problem we have is we cannot

maintain the infrastructure [without overtime],” said Kgaboesele.

By shifting to a 24-hour roster, Prasa could now schedule

maintenance work when passenger services were not active.

Kgaboesele said the change could save Prasa up to R350 million of

its current R550 million overtime bill.

The SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) and the United

Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) began a strike on Monday that saw

services shut down at Metrorail, Shosholoza Meyl and Autopax bus services across

the country.



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