Metrobus talks deadlocked

2011-03-09 08:38

Talks between Metrobus and the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) aimed at ending a month-long strike have deadlocked, an official said today.

“The talks deadlocked on Monday afternoon.

There are no negotiations that are currently in progress,” said Metrobus spokesperson Esther Dreyer.

She said management was working on a new proposal that would be submitted to Samwu later this week.

Last week, Samwu hinted that the strike may come to an end soon.

However, Dreyer said talks on Monday afternoon ended with no solution in sight.

Initially, Samwu demanded that Metrobus revert to an old shift system.

“Management told them there was no way we can back to the old system,” said Dreyer.

She said Samwu’s latest demand was for the striking drivers to get priority when shifts were chosen, but that this would be unfair to the drivers who had not been taking part in the strike.

Samwu spokesperson Dumisani Langa said yesterday that although a settlement seemed to be in sight last week, no progress were made in the talks on Monday.

On the old shifts, drivers started at 4.30am, had an hour’s tea break, an hour-and-a-half lunch break and finished work at 3pm.

On the new shifts, drivers started at 4.30am, had an unpaid lunch-break from 9am to 2pm and finished work at 7pm.

Metrobus suspended its service a month ago when the strike started, even though only 70 drivers out of 500 were refusing to work.

Dreyer said no buses were running for fear of intimidation against those not participating in the strike.

The non-striking workers were still getting paid, she said.

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