Metrorail probes worker intimidation

2012-02-28 21:10
Johannesburg - Metrorail is investigating allegations that striking workers intimidated those reporting for duty, it said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Lawrence Venkile said the incidents, which took place on Monday, included threatening phone calls.

Drivers arriving for duty, particularly at the Scheiding Street depot in Pretoria, had also been intimidated.

Workers belonging to the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) went on strike on Monday, in protest against alleged corruption.

The union has called for the suspension of Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) group CEO Lucky Montana over alleged tender irregularities. Prasa is the owner of Metrorail.

About 30 00 workers in Tshwane and Johannesburg were on strike on Tuesday, as well as workers in the Eastern and Western Cape, Satawu spokesperson Ephraim Mphahlele said.

Mphahlele said he had not heard of any intimidation.

Metrorail said its rail services were running normally, except for certain areas of Gauteng. Service levels in Gauteng had improved since Monday, with more than 70% of the schedule running.

Rail services in all other regions were normal, the parastatal said in a statement.

Prasa Rail CEO Mosenngwa Mofi said the strike was unwarranted.

"The only casualties will be our commuters who will be subjected to disruptions in the service, and workers who will lose their wages for every day they are on strike as the no-work, no-pay principle will apply."

Mofi said they were convinced the allegations of corruption were "at best unfounded and at worst spurious".

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