Update: Wage talks continue as bus strike enters fourth week

The national bus strike has entered it fourth week with bus employers proposing a revised offer at the weekend. This comes after a new round of negotiations collapsed on Thursday. Employers and unions representing bus drivers are set to meet again on Tuesday.

John Dammert, of Golden Arrow Bus Services, claims that a meeting is set to discuss the new offer on Tuesday.

The national bus strike entered its fourth week as bus employers proposed a new offer of 8.75% for the first year and 8.25% for the second year on Sunday. This comes after negotiations collapsed on Thursday when employers refused to budge on their offer of an 8% increase in the first year and 8.5% in the second year. Unions have been demanding an increase of 12% which has been met with resistance and led to the breakdown in negotiations a number of times.

Last week South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) spokesperson, Zanele Sabela accused employers of negotiating in bad faith, after they threatened to pull the offer of a minimum wage of R6,070 from the table.

The minimum wage may be the primary issue, but other grievances include poor working conditions, lack of benefits, lack of compensation and unfair conditions for dual drivers on long-distance buses.

The National bus strike has been a “no work and no pay” strike for the employees, and there has been a suggestion from the drivers that they should be back paid to 1 April. DM


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