Metrobus strike: Demawusa returns to work, for now

2019-09-25 09:43


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The Democratic Municipal and Allied Workers' Union (Demawusa) has called off its weeklong strike and its members are expected to return to work on Wednesday. 

The union's spokesperson, Dion Makhura, told News24 that the union decided to return to work after it looked at the financial constraints of fighting Metrobus in court.

The trade union is small, comprising about 300 members.

"We also realised that this war is not only between employees and the employer, Metrobus, Imatu ( Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union) and Samwu (SA Municipal Workers' Union) are involved. We had to look at whether we have strength or not to fight the battle and we realised that we do not have it now," he said.

Workers affiliated to the union are demanding to be paid a salary progression based on three-year periods of accumulated service. They have also demanded offices and resources in three depots.

However, Metrobus argued that the union was a minority and had no basis for such demands. 

Makhura said Demawusa members would look for a way forward while raising funds to enable it to challenge the company in court. 

"We also have to do serious recruiting in the campaign across Johannesburg so that when we go back to respond, we will be able to have the number of people who are members," he said. 

Makhura added that the union felt strongly about its demands, even though the strike was called off. If there is enough money in the near future, it intends to go back to the streets. 

Metrobus spokesperson Goodwill Shivuri said all buses from depots were operational.

He said drivers reported for duty and that he hoped workers affiliated to Demawusa were also on duty.

Read more on:    metrobus  |  johannesburg ­

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