Samwu urges drivers to go back to work

2010-05-31 11:34

The SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) wants striking Rea Vaya

drivers to go back to work because their strike over recognition is illegal and

they could lose their jobs.

“The union did not organise the strike action by BRT workers.

Workers took it on themselves to go on this strike action,” Samwu spokesperson

Tahir Sema said.

“It is illegal and it is not protected. They would stand the risk

of losing their jobs,” he said, denying it was a leverage ploy ahead of the

imminent start of the soccer World Cup.

The buses, which were introduced last year, were to have been an

integral part of transport plans for fans travelling to the stadiums that would

host the opening and closing matches, and 15 other games.

Sema said shop stewards would speak to the drivers today to tell

them to go back to work, but at the same time, the union would step up talks

with the company to address their members’ concerns.

A strike is considered illegal if workers have not been through a

lengthy process of mediating a settlement to a dispute. The drivers want the

company to recognise their union and let them negotiate in the municipal

bargaining chamber, which the company does not agree with.

Rea Vaya interim chief executive officer Jackie Huntley said the

company felt that because the enterprise was not owned by the municipality, they

would be in the wrong bargaining chamber for salaries and other labour-related

issues as they were not municipal workers.

She said the drivers also wanted to become permanent employees from

June 1, instead of July 1 as expected, but this was not possible.

But Sema disagreed, saying the buses, which formed part of the

government’s Bus Rapid Transit system, used many municipal resources and

infrastructure, and the drivers were entitled to be represented by Samwu, and

not another union suggested by Rea Vaya.

A court judgment on this matter is awaited.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.