Cosatu to strike against Metrorail fare hike

Cosatu in the Western Cape intends striking to pressure Metrorail not to increase its fares, the trade union federation said on Wednesday.

“Cosatu has referred the date for the proposed action to Nedlac [National Economic Development and Labour Council] in terms of section 77 of the Labour Relations Act for authorisation, which will ensure this is a protected strike and covers members and non-members of the federation,” Cosatu’s provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said. 

According to Metrorail’s website, the price of train tickets would increase on July 1. “The cost of single tickets increases by 50 cents, return tickets by R1. Weekly ticket increases range between R3 and R7 while monthly tickets increase between R7 and R30,” Metrorail said in a statement on its website. 

Cosatu urged Metrorail to delay increasing its fares until its services had improved. Ehrenreich said Metrorail had indicated it was taking steps to improve its services. “For Cosatu, an improved Metrorail service will reduce the necessity for workers to use additional funds when trains are cancelled and or delayed, and worse, workers are short-paid due to late-coming,” Ehrenreich said. 

Metrorail would gain R3-million from fare increases for the month of July, which would be a huge increase for ordinary workers. Metrorail said it would comment later. – Sapa

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