Commuters frustrated as national bus strike remains unresolved

2017-04-13 08:40

NUMSA bus strikers demand better working conditions

2017-04-12 15:45

Bus drivers from various unions lead a national strike with the demand for wage increase and improvements in safety conditions. . WATCH

Cape Town – The nationwide strike that saw bus drivers down tools until their wage demands were met is set to continue with no clear resolution in sight, leaving thousands of commuters stranded and causing a spike in traffic congestion as more cars hit the streets.

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Employers are reportedly offering a 7.5% pay increase, while unions are demanding an increase of 12%, but negotiations were deadlocked on Wednesday as an agreement between all parties could not be reached.

The services of Golden Arrow and MyCiti in Cape Town, Rea Vaya in Johannesburg, Gautrain buses and Putco, as well as some long-distance bus services have all been suspended because of the strike action. Regions in the Eastern Cape, George and Mpumalanga have also been affected.

Cape Town-based Golden Arrow Bus Services spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer told News24 on Wednesday that 220 000 Golden Arrow passengers were affected by the strike.

"At this stage, the strike is continuing indefinitely. The best thing is to prepare for an indefinite strike and really hope the parties come to an agreement," she said.

Golden Arrow bus terminus. (WC Govt website)

City of Ekurhuleni spokesperson Gugu Ndima said the city had not received any reports of stranded passengers. "While the Putco service has been disrupted, the city's own bus service is operating normally," she said.

Among other demands the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) wants a housing allowance of R3 000, maximum 12 hour shifts for drivers, overtime to be 1.5% of rate of pay, work on Sundays or public holidays or overtime to be by agreement only and the insourcing of cleaning, workshop and technical staff.

Numsa has rejected the most recent offer and promised to 'intensify' the strike.

Negotiations continue.

Read more on:    golden arrow  |  myciti  |  rea vaya  |  cape town  |  traffic  |  transport  |  protests  |  strikes

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