Ricochet News

Bust strike still on, unions to meet and discuss ultimatum from bus companies

Apr 30, 2018

Worker unions involved in the national bus strike are expected to meet on Monday to discuss the way forward after the bus companies gave them an ultimatum to accept their offer by Wednesday.

Bus companies are offering a 9% salary increase for the first year and an 8% for the second year while the unions are demanding a 9.5 percent increament.

The companies have threatened that if their offer is not accepted by Wednesday, they will revert back to their original offer of 8% for the first year and 8.5% in the second year. 

Workers affiliated to five unions downed tools in a nationwide strike that began two Wednesday’s ago after employer associations refused to agree to their demands.

The Ministers of Transport and Labour last week called on parties involved in the ongoing bus strike to come to a negotiated settlement.

Transport Minister Dr Blade Nzimande and Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant met with representatives of organised labour and employers in the bus industry on Thursday, where they were briefed by both parties on their bargaining positions aimed at ending the protracted bus strike.

The Ministers noted progress in negotiations and appreciated the fact that both parties are determined to resolve the impasse swiftly, with concessions already made from the original positions held by both parties prior to the negotiations.

Both Ministers called on all parties involved to find a negotiated settlement under the allowable rules and regulations in the interest of all South Africans.

Now in its second week, the bus strike has left thousands of commuters stranded, with many being forced to use other modes of more expensive transport.

In their joint statement, the Ministers said while they are not party to the negotiations, the only reasonable outcome that they expect from the negotiations is the immediate resumption of bus operations, while labour and employers are finding a permanent solution to the impasse.

“Both Ministers will continue to observe the negotiations with keen interest and wished all involved best regards in concluding the negotiations.”

Bus drivers involved in the strike are demanding a 9.5% salary increase in the first year and 9% in the second year. They initially demanded 12%, with their employers offering 7%.