Unions, employers ‘optimistic’ about deal to end bus strike

2013-05-09 08:46

Unions and employers are “optimistic” a solution to the bus driver strike might be reached before the end of the week.

“I am optimistic that there will be a solution at least by tomorrow,” said SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union general secretary Zenzo Mahlangu today.

“We are consulting our members regarding the employer’s offer.... We will return to the negotiations table on Friday,” he said Commuter Bus Employers’ Association CEO Barry Gie said most other issues had been worked out.

“There is a big chance that the parties might agree before the end of this week. Parties are consulting their constituents over the new proposal,” he said.

The employers’ new proposal is a nine percent increase, up from their original offer of 6.5%. The unions have decreased their wage demand to 10%, down from 13 %.

They are demanding allowances for housing, night-shift, and long-distance journeys.

Thousands of bus commuters countrywide have been stranded during the three-week long strike.

Transport and Omnibus Workers’ Union (Towu) spokesman Tony Franks said the union wanted employers to push their offer to 9.5%.

“We believe we made a lot of concessions, as labour, on many other issues that concerned our members. However, an offer that is closer to our demand would makes us happy.”

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