Bus drivers return to work

2012-10-18 14:30

Striking Rea Vaya bus drivers returned to work, said the City of Johannesburg.

Full operations resumed at 2pm today, the city said in a statement. “Piotrans bus drivers have thus returned to work,” it said.

“We apologise for the inconvenience and would like to urge our commuters to resume using Rea Vaya services.”

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

The Labour Court ruled yesterday that the bus drivers end their strike and return to work, the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) said earlier in the day.

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

The court had given Samwu 25 days to contest the decision, she said.

Piotrans, which has been contracted to operate the first phase of the bus service, said it had met and reached an agreement with workers about their return to work.

Spokesperson Dumisani Mntambo 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.”

The company failed to reach an agreement in 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 first employed.

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