News / South Africa

Sanele Gumada
1 minute read
5 May 2018
6:30 am

Unions decide to escalate bus strike into mass action, protests

Sanele Gumada

The decision came after employer associations involved in wage negotiations reverted to the offer of an 8% salary increase from an offer of 9%.

Commuters line up at a minibus taxi rank in Soweto, 18 April 2018, as a national bus strike left them stranded. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The ongoing national bus strike will soon evolve into mass action as meetings on wage increases with employer associations have again deadlocked.

The five unions representing workers in the bus industry – South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), National Union of Metal Workers of SA (Numsa), Tirisano Transport Services Workers’ Union, Transport and Allied Workers Union of SA and Transport and Omnibus Workers’ Union – said a decision was made to embark on mass action and protests.

Unions were enraged when employer associations, the Commuter Bus Employers’ Organisation and South African Bus Employers’ Association, reverted to the offer of an 8% salary increase for the first year, and 8.5% in the second year, if unions rejected an initial offer of 9% increase for 11 months for the first year and 8% for the second year.

“Employers have made good on their threat to revert back to the mediators’ proposal,” said Satawu spokesperson Zanele Sabela.

Numsa added: “Employers have declared war on commuters. They did not attend the mediation with the goal of resolving the strike.

“We moved several times during the negotiations to try and meet the bosses halfway. We made different proposals and offered compromises, but the employers refused to budge.”

The employer associations could not be reached for comment.

Also read:  Taxi drivers ‘need to join bus strike’

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