Metrobus pickets continue

2013-07-09 11:49

The indefinite strike by Metrobus workers continued today.

“We didn’t hear anything from management yesterday, so we are back picketing at the same place, just in front of the (Metrobus) headquarters,” said SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) spokesperson Phanuel Tshikovha.

“Until such time as we can engage with management, the strike will indefinitely carry on,” he said.

Today, Samwu members downed tools, demanding the suspension of Metrobus acting managing director Lawrence Maqekoane, pending an investigation into allegations levelled against him.

Tshikovha said the union would strike indefinitely until a forensic investigation into the concerns was established. The union also wanted Metrobus to engage with employees about the matter.

Metrobus human resources general manager Ranti Mahlabana said in a statement that about 44% of the service’s buses were running yesterday morning.

He said the dispute related to the recruitment of staff through Adecco recruitment services, which the union saw as a violation of a 2008 agreement on permanent staff.

Mahlabana said Samwu wanted Maqekoane to be investigated and charged with violating the disciplinary code and the organisational rights agreement.

Metrobus received notice of the union’s intention to strike on June 24, after a failed conciliation process at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration.

Mahlabana said there had been further attempts to engage with the union last week.

“During the sessions, marked progress was made in a number of areas and, to this end, was an agreement on all aspects of the dispute raised by Samwu.”

It was also communicated to the union that there were existing procedures in place to address their concerns and that the committee of the Metrobus board was willing to appoint an independent professional to investigate the matter.

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