MyCiTi strikers, City of Cape Town at impasse over EFF's inclusion in talks

2018-10-18 17:39
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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The impasse over the unprotected strike by MyCiTi workers continued on Thursday, as the City of Cape Town said it would only meet with union representatives, while the strikers pressed for the EFF to be included in the talks.

The "wildcat" strike by MyCiTi employees entered its fourth day on Thursday, with multiple routes disrupted in Cape Town.

About 200 people gathered in front of the Civic Centre to demand better working conditions, and to be insourced by the City.

MyCiTi strikers were joined by a handful of EFF supporters, as well as firefighters represented by the Municipal and Allied Trade Union of South Africa (Matusa).

While the firefighters were protesting about their own working conditions, Matusa spokesperson Michael Khumalo said they were also there to support the strike action of the MyCiTi workers.

Patrick Mabindisa, one of the leaders of the MyCiti strike action, welcomed the firefighters, saying they were there in solidarity.

The City has not budged thus far.

EFF Cape metro secretary Banzi Dambuza said Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport, was refusing to meet with the strikers unless the EFF was excluded from the talks.

'This is a labour issue'

Dambuza hit back, saying the strikers would not meet Herron without the EFF, as the party had been invited by the workers.

Mabindisa confirmed that "workers went to the EFF and requested solidarity" and that "is the truth".

Khumalo, however, felt that the EFF's involvement was likely to hinder a resolution to the strike, especially because the City of Cape Town was governed by the DA.

"This is a labour issue that trade unions should be able to deal with," Khumalo said.

By noon, MyCiTi strikers had called for a total shutdown of the Civic Centre building, blocking off the foreshore and station entrances, hoping to pressure Herron to come out and address them.

It was unclear whether the strike would continue into Friday.

On Wednesday, Herron said that the City would apply for an urgent court interdict against those who were "preventing" the MyCiTi bus service from operating.

Herron was critical of the EFF, accusing it of using the strike to drive a political agenda, a claim EFF councillor Andrew Arnolds denied.

Read more on:    myciti  |  eff  |  cape town  |  protests
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