The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) has warned of a looming bus strike that will likely start in April 2020 over wage dispute.
In a statement on Thursday, 12 March 2020, the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, alongside four unions from the South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council (SARPBAC) has warned of a looming strike. The two entities have warned that the strike would begin in April 2020, should a wage settlement fail to be reached. The two entities had received a certificate of non-resolution after having partook in a four-day mediation with employer associations, the Commuter Bus Employers Organisation (COBEA) and the South African Bus Employers’ Association (SABEA).
The trade unions noted that the wage negotiations had begun in January 2020 and were followed by mediation in late February, to no avail. The unions had started out with 18 demands; however, after three rounds of mediation, they cut the demands to nine. Their compromise, however, yielded no results as employers only agreed to two demands, namely; “fixed term contract workers will become eligible for benefits after six months in employment and the scope of family responsibility is extended to include illness of a spouse not just death.”
“Labour has proposed an 8.5 percent increase for the first group and 7.5 percent for the second group. Employers, on the other hand, want six percent for Year 1 and 5.5 percent for Year 2 and Year 3 for the first group.”
Should parties fail to reach an agreement, the unions will serve a 48-hour notice anytime after 4 April 2020, before embarking on a strike.