#BusStrike: Unions and bus bosses come to an agreement

The South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council has confirmed that an agreement that will end the nationwide bus strike has been reached. 

The bus strike, which is now well into its fourth week, has left commuters all over the country without transport.

Five different unions participated in the strike, including the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu), the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, the Tirisano Transport and Service Workers Union, the Transport and Omnibus Workers Union and the Transport and Allied Workers Union.

Despite interventions from the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and the labour and transport ministers, the negotiations between unions, drivers and bus bosses have, until now, consistently ended in a stalemate.

Throughout the negotiations, the employers’ caucus stuck to their guns, insisting that the ever-present operational difficulties faced by the bus sector would make relenting to demands too financially taxing.


John Dammert from the employers’ caucus explained that the bus sector — in addition to operational difficulties — is dealing with dwindling support in the form of subsidies from the department of transport as another reason why employers could not meet the demands made by unions.

Last week, all five unions agreed to a 9% wage increase in the first year and 8% in the second. Workers, however, demanded back pay for the month of April, causing the strike action to continue into the weekend.

It is understood that this issue has now been resolved.

Bargaining Council General Secretary Gary Wilson said to EWN: “Over the weekend, we’d put the proposal to the employers and unions to consider in order to settle the strike. All parties came back to us and confirmed that they are happy to concede to that proposal that was put on the table.”

Wilson would not give any further detail, saying unions would make the announcement. It is expected that unions will announce the end of the strike at a press conference this evening.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

How smuggled gold destined for Dubai or Singapore has links...

Three Malagasy citizens were apprehended at OR Tambo International airport, but now the trail is found to connect to France and Mali

How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company

The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017

More top stories

Spy boss tells how agency was used to detain Zuma’s...

Day two of State Security Agency testimony at the Zondo commission birthed more revelations that point to the former head of state and agents breaking the law

Covax will take excess doses of Covid vaccines off the...

The global initiative plans to deliver two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to developing nations

Eastern Cape citizens don’t have to visit the labour department...

This measure, aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19, may shortly be introduced in other regions.

Covid-19 economic crisis will be felt by the poor for...

The pandemic’s economic fallout will affect the world’s poor for years, while the richest billionaires increase their wealth, an Oxfam report notes
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…