Pay agreement on the cards to end Satawu bus strike

"We are very close to an agreement. We will be convening at around lunch time to finalise," said South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) secretary general Zenzo Mahlangu on Monday.

He said it was likely the strike would be officially declared over after their meeting with employers.

"I might be telling the strike is over after lunch."

Thousands of commuters were left stranded across the country since the strike started four weeks ago.

Last week, the Commuter Bus Employers' Association chief executive Barry Gie said that most of the other issues had been worked out.

He indicated there was a big chance that unions might agree to the recent wage offer.

Employers were offering a 9% increase, up from their original offer of 6.5%.

The unions had decreased their wage demand to 10%.

Wage negotiations deadlock
On April 19, Satawu announced the strike and said it was a result of a wage negotiations deadlock.

Errol Braithwaite, spokesperson for the Gautrain company Bombela Concession, said none of the Gautrain buses were operating.

"We are waiting to hear what comes out of the negotiations at the bargaining council," Braithwaite said at the time.

Jo'burg Metrobus spokesperson Esther Dreyer said on April 19 that municipal buses were operating across the city.

Workers were demanding an 18% wage increase at the time and the employers had offered only 2.5%, said Satawu spokesperson Vincent Masoga in April.

However, Gie said employers had put a 6.5% offer on the table.

On April 19, he said the unions' claim of a 2.5% offer was "misleading".

"Negotiations are a two-way process; both parties need to compromise in order to resolve the dispute … the unions are misleading the public."

Workers were also demanding a minimum wage of R6 000 a month across the industry, a R1 000 housing allowance and an increase in medical aid contributions, said Gie at the time. – Sapa

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