Satawu members gather to march

2013-05-07 11:56
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Joburg bus drivers strike

Striking bus drivers gathered to march through the streets of Joburg, demanding a wage increase. See all the pictures.

Johannesburg - Satawu members were trickling into the Peter Roos Park, in Johannesburg, on Tuesday for a march in demand of higher wages for bus drivers.

Waving union banners, the striking SA Transport Workers' Union members were outnumbered by journalists, police and metro police officers, but said more workers were expected to arrive in the course of the day.

Congress of SA Trade Unions Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile said the marchers were shop stewards from all the sectors in which Satawu organised.

"We are here to raise issues across our industries, including transport and the private security sector."

‘I hope workers’ lives are taken seriously’

Freight company employee Willie Manda, 44, who is a cleaner and a member of Satawu, said he was there to support his union.

"This is how a worker gets noticed... I support this march and hope that workers' lives are taken seriously."

Earlier, Satawu spokesperson Vincent Masoga said members would be there in droves "to make employers aware that we mean business" and that they would not back down from their demand for a double-digit wage increase.

Bus drivers have been on strike countrywide for three weeks, demanding a 13% wage increase - down from 18% - and allowances for housing, night-shift, and long-distance journeys.

Talks between the unions and employers at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration are expected to resume this week.

‘Exploiting workers’

Masoga said the bus drivers would march to the transport and road freight bargaining council in Braamfontein to hand over a memorandum of their demands.

They would then proceed to the city centre and hand over another memorandum at the offices of the private security sector provident fund.

"The fund has been exploiting workers for years... Workers contribute to the fund, but get almost nothing from the fund, which is supposed to look after their interests," he said.

Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said the marchers would gather at Pieter Roos Park in Parktown at 10:00, and disperse at Park Station at 14:00.

Members of the SA Police Service and the metro police would direct and monitor the march.
Read more on:    satawu  |  johannesburg  |  protests

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