Shutdown as Metrorail workers down tools

Metrorail workers embarked on a strike in Cape Town this morning, causing a total shutdown of services.

“All commuters in Cape Town will have to make use of alternative transport,” said United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) general secretary Chris de Vos.

Western Cape Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott confirmed the strike, saying workers were protesting against the introduction of changes to the shift roster.

“It was part of the agreement when they received their salary increases,” she said.

“The new roster was due to be introduced on December 4. It does not involve more hours, only different hours.”

Scott said Metrorail commuters would have to make alternative transport plans today because there was a total shutdown of services.

De Vos said Utatu and SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union members were taking part in the strike.

Workers were striking due to “unilateral changes of service conditions”.

De Vos said it had been agreed that the changes would first be “workshopped” before implementation.

“This strike could have been avoided,” said De Vos.

According to Scott, 600 000 passenger journeys are made on Metrorail in the Cape every day.

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