Bus strike to intensify after wage negotiations deadlock

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Unions involved in the bus strike have called on all their members to intensify as current negotiations mediated by CCMA have yielded no fruit.

“Unions call on all members in the transport sector to intensify the strike until such time employers make an offer that can end the strike,” says Solomon Mahlangu from the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu).

Mahlangu was speaking at a joint media briefing between Satawu, National Union of MetalWorkers of  SA (Numsa), South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Trisano), Transport and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (Tawusa) and Transport and Omnibus Workers Union (Towu) in Woodmead, north of Johannesburg, between them and other unions involved in the strike.

The unions say employers are accepting the CCMA’s proposal of 8% in the first year and 8.5%t in the second year but all other demands must be dropped. These demands include, dual drivers and insourcing.

Mahlangu says they wanted employers to increase their offer by 1% so that it would be 9% in the first year and nine and half in the second but employers would not agree to that.

“Unfortunately, employers maintained a rigid stance and rejected all our movements,” says Mahlangu.

General-secretary of Numsa, Irvin Jim says they want to intensify the strike so it can end.

“We are not saying that we are intensifying the strike for the sake of intensifying the strike. We are intensifying the strike in order to end the strike. Therefore we are available for negotiations tonight, tomorrow, the whole weekend,” says Jim.

He has also called on government to play a role in the negotiations and “not just send statements”.

Thousands of commuters have been left stranded since the nationwide bus strike started on Wednesday. Jim has called on all non-striking members to join the action.