Intimidation during strike hampers bus service

“High levels” of intimidation have caused further disruptions to bus services as Johannesburg Metrobus drivers continue to strike over their new shift schedule, the company said today.

Metrobus spokesperson Esther Dreyer said about five bus drivers were assaulted yesterday evening, and one was hospitalised. The drivers’ vehicles – which they park at the depot while they work – were also damaged.

“I’m not sure how many, if any, buses are leaving the depots because the drivers are petrified to go out,” she said.

“Its difficult to say whether there are any buses.”

She encouraged passengers to make alternative transport arrangements.

Only a “small portion” of drivers were on strike – about 70 out the 500 employed.

They were affiliated to the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu), and were unhappy about the new driver shifts implemented from December 6, 2010.
The strike started on Wednesday.

Negotiations between the union and Metrobus were continuing, Dreyer said.

“Once again, Metrobus would like to extend its sincere apologies to passengers for the inconvenience caused,” she said. 

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