A collapse in wage negotiations between workers and employers associations may be leading to a strike action by bus drivers on Easter weekend.
Negotiations in the South African Road Passengers Bargaining Council reached a third round on Monday but both parties failed to reach a consensus.
Bus drivers sought a double digits increment but were offered a 3% raise.
The Unions on Thursday, per the Sowetan Live made written and oral submissions in the council and asked to have a cooling off period, which will end on the 13th of April, two days before Easter weekend. A strike action will commence after April 13.
Umbrella body for bus drivers in the country, the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union ‘passenger bus’ national coordinator said employers have failed to listen to the demands of the drivers.
“We already have the certificate of non-resolution which permits us to strike. The adoption of picketing rules are just logistics to ensure that the strike is manageable and peaceful,” Solomon Mahlangu said, the drivers’ union national coordinator said.
“Within this 30 days cooling off, we do express our availability to employers… this strike comes as our only tool to force the employers to concede to our reasonable demands,”
The strike is expected to affect 14,000 workers in the country including drivers in Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Limpopo.
The drivers’ union has demanded a 15% increase in their minimum wage to R12,000 per month. They’ve also made demands for a compulsory health scheme from their employers.
Employers, in a far cry from labour’s demands first offered 2%, then increased their offer to 2.5% before offering 3% which has also been rejected by the union.
An Easter weekend in South Africa is known for large human engagements, transportation and heavy vehicular movements. With the bus drivers planning a strike at the period, employers are set to lose millions of Rands if negotiations are not concluded.
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