No end in sight to Prasa strike

There are no indications the nationwide strike by the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union and the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa (Prasa) will end anytime soon, the union said on Wednesday evening.

“It is still dark at the [Prasa],” Satawu general secretary Zenzo Mahlangu said.

Satawu had been striking since last Monday after rejecting a 10% wage increase offer from Prasa, wanting 13% instead.

“The offer is still the same. We are trying to do some work behind the scenes but there is still no hope for a breakthrough.”

The strike saw services shut down at Metrorail, Shosholoza Meyl and Autopax bus services across the country.

Satawu’s fellow union, the United Transport and Allied Trade Union, embarked on the strike with Satawu for a few days before deciding at the end of last week to accept the 10% offer.

Metrorail spokesperson Nana Zenani said Metrorail in Gauteng was running a 32% service for a third consecutive day on Wednesday.

“We’re still sitting on 32%.”

There was no sign of Satawu members returning to work, she said.

Increase implemented
Meanwhile Prasa decided to unilaterally implement the 10% salary increase.

Zenani said forensic investigations into the torching of four Metrorail train coaches at Johannesburg’s Park Station on Tuesday morning were continuing. No arrests had been made yet.

Satawu challenged Prasa earlier on Wednesday to name those of its members it believed were responsible for the fire.

“Satawu is disturbed by the irresponsible and arrogant attitude that is displayed by Prasa of vilifying the organisation and accusing it of everything that goes wrong in their operations during the strike,” Gauteng provincial secretary Xolani Nyamezele said in a statement.

He was responding to a statement by Prasa acting CEO Tumisang Kgaboesele, who blamed striking Satawu members for the R15-million in damages caused when a burning object was thrown at the train.—Sapa



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