Bus passenger sector strike looms

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This comes after mediation efforts between Numsa and the the Bus Passenger Council reached a deadlock.

Just a few days before the Easter long-weekend, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has issued a notice to inform employers in the bus passenger sector of its intention to strike.

In a statement late Monday, Numsa said the strike would commence on Wednesday and could affect thousands of passengers who rely on buses to commute to various Easter holidays destinations.

This comes after mediation efforts between Numsa and the the Bus Passenger Council by the Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) reached a deadlock.

The buses to be affected if the strike is implemented include: Putco, Mgqibelo, Mayibuye, Buscor and Golden Arrow, Megabus, Mega Express, Bojanala, Gauteng Coaches, Itereleng, Ipelegeng, Atamelang, Autopax, Great North Transport, ReaVaya, Phola Coaches, PAL Bus and Greyhound.

Numsa said employer associations, the South African Bus Employer’s Association (SABEA) and the Commuter Bus Employers Association (COBEA), have rejected workers’ demands for a living wage and for improved working conditions.

“We are advising commuters to make alternative arrangements for the Easter weekend as unfortunately, buses will not be operational,” Numsa said.

“The CEO’s of these companies have until tomorrow night to meet with us to resolve the dispute. We also urge the Transport Ministry to intervene to ensure a speedy resolution, otherwise we will have no choice but to strike.”

Passenger bus drivers are reportedly earning an average of R5,000 per month.

Numsa is demanding a wage increase of 15% across the board, and a living wage of R15,000 per month for all workers, more and above paid overtime for work on Sundays and public holidays.

They also demand a R1,500 housing allowance, R1,200 sleeping out allowance, and also want to be paid 1.5 time their normal rate when working overtime and double if forced to work on their day off.

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