'The bus strike was the last resort' - Satawu

Golden Arrow Bus Services have stopped operating during the nationwide strike. (Jenni Evans/News24)
Golden Arrow Bus Services have stopped operating during the nationwide strike. (Jenni Evans/News24)

As the nationwide bus strike, now in its sixth day, continues, bus workers appear more defiant than ever, with trade unions calling for intensified strike action.

The strike, which started on Wednesday, came as a result of failed wage negotiations between the unions and bus company bosses. It was hoped negotiations would end the impasse last week, however, they ended in a deadlock following a two-day meeting with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

ALSO READ: Commuters face another hard week as nationwide bus strike continues

Workers are demanding a 9.5% salary increase in the first year and 9% in the second year. They initially demanded 12%, with their employers offering 7%.

"We are calling on all non-unionised members to join in the strike because at the end of the day, this agreement will benefit them too," South African Transport Allied Workers Union (Satawu) spokesperson Zanele Sabela said.

No dates for future negotiations have been communicated.

Sabela said that negotiations started in January.

50 bus companies not operating

"We only started striking three months after negotiations started. The bus strike was the last resort," she said.

"Unfortunately, the strike is hurting the commuters, but they understand our struggle because the commuter and the workers are the same people."

A joint statement from Satawu, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), Tirisano, the Transport and Allied Workers Union of South Africa and the Transport and Omnibus Workers Union said that the intensified strike action was in response to the employers’ "provocative attitudes" during negotiations.

ALSO READ: Bus strike set to intensify - unions

"They were not very forthcoming during negotiations and it was very frustrating. We have not heard anything about future meetings, but we remain open to it," Sabela said.

At least 50 bus companies across the country are not operating as the strike intensifies.

WATCH: The strike will continue until demands are met - bus drivers vow

Golden Arrow Bus Services spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said that the company sympathised with its workers.

"It's difficult to quantify financial loss. We're more concerned about our passengers and our colleagues. The policy is no work, no pay, so we are worried about them," Dyke-Beyer said.

WATCH: This Cape Town taxi driver wants the bus strike to end

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
36% - 1842 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
27% - 1392 votes
No, I don't think they need it
37% - 1859 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
14.54
(+0.08)
ZAR/GBP
20.50
(+0.17)
ZAR/EUR
17.65
(+0.15)
ZAR/AUD
11.54
(-0.32)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(+0.65)
Gold
1798.34
(-0.40)
Silver
27.72
(+0.30)
Platinum
1253.00
(+0.44)
Brent Crude
64.18
(+0.19)
Palladium
2423.56
(+3.99)
All Share
66200.76
(+0.42)
Top 40
60747.41
(+0.42)
Financial 15
12354.99
(+0.99)
Industrial 25
86550.38
(-0.10)
Resource 10
66735.02
(+0.89)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo