City of Cape Town to apply for interdict against striking MyCiTi workers

2018-10-17 21:44
Striking MyCiti bus drivers entered their second day of a 'wildcat' strike on Tuesday, October 16

Striking MyCiti bus drivers entered their second day of a 'wildcat' strike on Tuesday, October 16 (Zukile Daniel)

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WATCH: MyCiTi employees' 'wildcat' strike continued on Tuesday

2018-10-16 19:41

A "wildcat" strike by MyCiTi workers appeared to enter its second day as the bus service announced disruptions on several routes around Cape Town. Watch.WATCH

The City of Cape Town will apply for an urgent court interdict against those who are preventing the MyCiTi bus service from operating, mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron said on Wednesday.

MyCiTi workers, supported by EFF members, embarked on an unprotected strike three days ago to demand better working conditions and for the City of Cape Town to put an end to outsourcing.

"The EFF is using the unprotected strike to drive their political agenda – this is a deplorable agenda centred around chaos, violence, disruption, sabotage, and self-interest," Herron said.

"They have no respect for the residents of this city, neither the thousands of commuters who rely on the MyCiTi service, nor those who they have enticed into participating in this strike."

Herron alleged that two female bus drivers were held hostage, passengers were chased away from MyCiTi stations and buses were stoned.

However, EFF Western Cape provincial secretary Andrew Arnolds has denied the allegations.

Herron yet to meet with protesters

"Our message was clear yesterday, we are not going to stone any bus. Infrastructure belongs to our children and our mothers. Nothing happened," he said.

"He's [Herron] frustrating the process. The workers came to us. They speak for themselves and they are in full control. He's making like the EFF is out of order."

Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said that there was no record a hostage situation being reported to the police.

ALSO READ: Western Cape government urges Metrorail, MyCiTi to help ensure matrics get to exams on time

Arnolds explained that Herron had refused to meet with MyCiTi workers since the protest started.

"Brett Herron is a liar. On Monday I went with a councillor to his office and asked him to come out and listen to the workers. We waited for him all day," Arnolds insisted.

"On Tuesday, he was available at 23:00 and he didn't come out. These stories about intimidation of workers – not true. He's a liar."

Call for end to violence 

Arnolds also claimed that he had spoken to Herron and came out bearing an email from Herron. The email, addressed to Arnolds and EFF secretary of the Cape metro area Banzi Dambuza, reinstated City officials' calls for the illegal strike to end. 

"I would urge that they engage with their employers to resolve their working conditions complaints," Herron wrote in the email.

"I also urge that you discourage those who are striking from intimidation and violence against other employees and commuters," Herron added.

Arnolds would not comment on the urgent interdict.

During the protest earlier on Wednesday, Dambuza said that EFF members were prepared to be arrested and even killed in the fight for MyCiTi workers' rights.

Herron said that those involved in the protest were not exclusively MyCiTi employees. Some of the protesters were employees from vehicle operation companies (VOCs) who work on the MyCiTi bus service.

No work, no pay

"Thus, the protesters consist of a random group of employees from various companies that are acting recklessly and opportunistically under the guidance of the EFF," he said.

"Worst of all is that the EFF is using the striking employees as their puppets and, once the show is over, they will vanish into thin air."

He also noted that those participating in the unprotected strike were not getting paid while absent from work.

On Tuesday, News24 saw letters sent to workers from the VOCs threatening disciplinary and legal action should they fail to return to work.

It was unclear whether the strike would continue into Thursday.

Read more on:    myciti  |  cape town  |  protests

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