Transport union, South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) has called on non-striking bus drivers to join their striking colleagues to put more pressure on the employer to return to the negotiating table.

Commuters have been inconvenienced since last week when thousands of drivers downed tools countrywide. Talks deadlocked on Friday.

Workers now want 9.5% salary increase, while employers are offering 8.5% for the first year and 8% for the second year. Drivers had been demanding 12% but have dropped that to 9.5%.

Satawu spokesperson Zanele Sabela says, “There are no negotiations happening nor are they planned for later today or tomorrow. When talks broke down last week it was not a friendly mood, and we haven’t heard from the employer since then. However, on our side we’re calling on those workers in the sector who are not part of the unions to join the strike, it is a protected industry-wide strike because whatever agreement is signed here will benefit them also.”

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