Metrobus operations affected in Johannesburg after stalemate in negotiations with Demawusa

2018-06-06 16:24


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Metrobus services in some parts of Johannesburg have been disrupted after the Democratic Municipal and Allied Workers' Union of South Africa (Demawusa) and the bus company failed to reach an agreement. 

Some commuters were left stranded on Tuesday evening and Wednesday after about 300 drivers affiliated to the union embarked on a strike. 

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

The parties have failed to agree on demands put forward by the union.

Metrobus spokesperson Goodwill Shivuri said Demawusa was "not a recognised union" and therefore some of its demands could not be met.

"What the union wants is outside the jurisdiction of Metrobus because there is already an agreement between Samwu (South African Municipal Workers' Union) and Imatu (Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union) on the matters they are raising with us on how salary progression is going to work," Shivuri said.

Demawusa is demanding that salary progressions be paid in terms of the number of years an employee has worked for the company. It is also demanding that starting salaries of new employees be adjusted. 

"They (Metrobus) are saying to us that they will facilitate our demands, and therefore we must end the strike, but we are refusing to end the strike until they agree and implement," Demawusa's Dion Makhura said.  

Buses trashed

Negotiations between the union and management were meant to get underway at 08:00 but were delayed after Metrobus bosses held their own meeting.

While management met inside the premises, a group of almost 30 union members gathered outside. 

"The internal meeting was a confidential one, but what I can tell you is that some of the union's demands are not ideal because they are [a] small group," Shivuri said. 

He added that Metrobus was continuing to engage with the union and hoped to reach a resolution for the sake of commuters and also to avoid further damage to buses.

He said the union members were "violent and have already trashed at least two buses". 

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Read more on:    metrobus  |  johannesburg  |  protests  |  public transport

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