[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Joburg bus strike intensifies
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Wed May 20 14:39:09 BST 2009
'All 54 000 Samwu members to down tools'
20 May 2009, 09:24
The SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) has served notice of a strike
among all its members in Gauteng after the collapse of wage talks for
bus drivers, an official said on Wednesday.
Samwu Gauteng spokesperson Dumisani Langa said all 54 000 of its members
in the province would down tools on May 28.
"We have served the city with notice," Langa told Sapa.
This will be in solidarity with Johannesburg Metrobus drivers who have
been on strike since April 28.
The drivers are demanding an entry-level basic salary of R7 021, a
salary of R8 800 for drivers with five years' experience and a salary of
R10 650 for drivers with more than 10 years' experience, said Langa.
He said all drivers were currently earning R7 021 per month.
Metrobus has said it could not accede to Samwu's demands, warning it
would place the company in liquidation.
Talks collapsed last week, leaving bus commuters stranded for a fourth week.
Metrobus board chairperson, Zweli Mntambo, told reporters on Tuesday
that Samwu's demands would cost the company around R12-million per annum.
"Agreeing would mean that we'd have to raise bus fares quite
substantially, like doubling what commuters pay now, or petition the
City of Johannesburg for a larger portion of ratepayers' money to
subsidise the additional costs," said Mntambo.
But Langa said the union would not back down, although he acknowledged
the strike was becoming a lose-lose situation, since bus drivers on
strike are not receiving any pay.
"All parties are losing, it's a fact. It's in both party's interest to
solve the issue but we are not changing our demands," said Langa. - Sapa
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