EXPLAINER: Why Gautrain workers are on strike

The United National Transport Union announced on Sunday that it would go ahead with a strike over bonuses and a 10% wage increase demand on Monday.

In a statement released on Sunday, UNTU members working for the Bombela Operating Company (BOC) — which operates the Gautrain — said they were locked in a dispute with the company and would be downing tools in an industrial action.

The statement said most BOC employees could afford housing qualify for RDP-houses because they earn above the threshold, but the majority don’t qualify or cannot afford a bond to buy a property.

“The earliest shift of BOC starts at 03:00 in the morning, but the employees who have to work these shifts also cannot afford to rent rooms in the mostly upmarket areas next to the Gautrain. The Gautrain runs from Hatfield in Pretoria through Centurion, Midrand, Sandton and Rosebank to Park Station,” said the statement.

Among other things, UNTU demands Basic Salary increase of 10%, a housing allowance R1600, a transport allowance of R800 and incentive Bonuses of R20 000 for all employees.

According to UNTU Bombela Operating Company offered union members an 8.5% salary increase across the board and would not pay employees an incentive bonus.

Gautrain took to its Twitter accountto confirm that a strike would commence on Monday, adding that it was developing measures to mitigate the impact of the industrial action.

“Unfortunately, wage negotiations have deadlocked and as a result a strike will commence tomorrow morning, 30 July. An operational plan is being finalised and the details of which will be communicated later this afternoon,” Gautrain said in a tweet on Sunday.

The strike was announced after talks at the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration failed. UNTU says it represents more than 90% of Bombela Operating Company employees. — Fin 24

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Khulekani Magubane
Khulekani Magubane

Khulekani Magubane is a senior financial reporter for Fin24. 


In East Africa, the locusts are coming back for more

In February the devastating locust swarms were the biggest seen in East Africa for 70 years. Now they’re even bigger

Western Cape Judge Mushtak Parker faces second misconduct complaint

The Cape Bar Council says his conduct is ‘unbecoming the holding of judicial office’

‘My biggest fear was getting the virus and dying in...

South African Wuhan evacuee speaks about his nine-week ordeal

Border walls don’t stop viruses, but a blanket amnesty might

Why South Africa should consider amnesty for undocumented migrants in the time of the coronavirus outbreak.

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories