Metrobus' Demawusa drivers embark on strike, block buses at depot

2018-06-05 22:55
Metrobus (File, Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Dudu Zitha)

Metrobus (File, Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Dudu Zitha)

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Commuters in some areas of Johannesburg's Metrobus routes were forced to use alternative buses and forms of transport on Tuesday, after members affiliated to the Democratic Municipal and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (Demawusa) embarked on a strike.

The members blocked buses from leaving Village Main depot and disrupted daily operations.

Metrobus spokesperson Goodwill Shivuri said two bus drivers were injured and taken to hospital.

Demawusa's Dion Makhura said among the union's long list of demands, it wants Metrobus to pay salary progressions in terms of the number of years an employee had worked for the company and compensation for bus drivers with long-term service salary bonuses.

Speaking to News24, Shivuri said the main issue they had noted was that Demawusa members wanted to be recognised as a union representing workers and therefore "embarking on a strike was a way to seek attention for that recognition".


He added that some of the union's demands were issues that were already resolved at the bargaining council, collectively by the City, the South African Municipal Workers Union(Samwu) and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Unions (Imatu).

"The main issue here is that Demawusa wants to be recognised as a union since they are a breakaway from Samwu, but they consequently don't have numbers to do so," Shivuri said.

Shivuri said Metrobus management agreed to engage and hear the union for the sake of commuters and to avoid ongoing chaos.  

"We have declined at least four of [their] demands, because they were already resolved at the bargaining council with other unions.

"We will meet again tomorrow (Wednesday) to engage on other matters they have put forward and will hopefully come to an agreement," Shivuri said.

Metrobus management will meet again with Demawusa on Wednesday at 08:00.

Demawusa was launched in 2015 after some members broke away from the Congress of South African Trade Unions' Samwu.

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