Bus wage talks deadlock

Wage talks in the bus industry have deadlocked, with the possibility of a strike in April, transport unions have said.

Negotiations between unions and industry associations began towards the end of January, and deadlocked on February 19, the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) and the Transport and Omnibus Workers’ Union (Towu) said today.

A mediation meeting was held on March 14 and 15, after which the unions declared a dispute.

Satawu and Towu are negotiating with the SA Bus Employers’ Association and the Commuter Bus Employers’ Organisation (Cobeo), under the auspices of the SA Road Passenger Bargaining Council (SARPBC).

“The formation of Cobeo in the industry brought about bad faith negotiations from the onset,” the unions said.

“In the history of SARPBC we did not endure the frustrations we have encountered this year, where we are faced with a division between the two associations.”

“We are therefore informing the public at large, especially those that are relying on the buses,... that, should the 30-day cooling [period] lapse without a solution to our dispute, all workers in the bus industry would embark on a strike action on April 14.”

The unions urged the industry associations to find consensus.

Neither of the employer organisations could be reached for comment.

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