Metrorail train set alight on day nine of strike

2010-05-25 09:20

Several Metrorail train coaches were set alight this morning,

the ninth day of national strike action against the Passenger Rail Agency of SA


“We cannot rule out the possibility of sabotage,” Metrorail Gauteng

spokeswoman Nana Zenani told Sapa.

The SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) had vowed to

press ahead with the countrywide strike until its members get a 13 percent wage

increase, as opposed to the 10 percent offered by Prasa.

Its fellow union, the United Transport and Allied Trade Union

(Utatu) decided at the end of last week to accept the Prasa offer.

But Satawu represents some 56 percent of Prasa employees, which

means the strike action that started last Monday still left most rail commuters


Zenani said the Metrorail service would again run at 32 percent --

“much lower than what we normally run“.

Prasa, which operates Metrorail and Shosholoza Meyl, last week

suspended all railway services but started operating a 32 percent service yesterday, after Utatu members accepted its wage offer and went back to work.

Johannesburg emergency services reported this morning that a

burning object was thrown at Metrorail coaches near Park Station.

The fire was extinguished by 8am and no injuries were


Meanwhile, Satawu members were also involved in a strike against

Transnet after rejecting an 11 percent wage increase offer, which Utatu


The Transnet strike had already cost the agricultural sector more

than R1 billion, Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said yesterday.

Satawu had also issued secondary strike notices to several

port-related companies. Should the Transnet strike not be resolved by June 1,

sympathy strikes would be legal in these companies, said Satawu general

secretary Zenzo Mahlangu.

Meanwhile, Transnet said it would unilaterally implement the 11

percent increase back-dated to April 1.

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