From the news desk

Bus strike called off, but Numsa vows to continue

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Cape Town – Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant announced on Friday afternoon that the bus strike is now over as the majority of unions reached an agreement.

She said she is pleased that three unions have signed agreement, including the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and two others.

She added that she has asked the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) to end the strike, but so far the union still has to reach an agreement.

That, however, does not prevent the strike from being called off. In terms of the constitution of the Bargaining Council, if the majority of trade unions participating in collective bargaining reach an agreement, a strike can be called off.

“Workers are on standby and ready to get the buses moving again,” she said at a briefing.
Earlier on Friday Numsa emphasised that it has not signed agreements with any employers in the bus passenger sector.

Irvin Jim, Numsa general secretary said at a media briefing on Friday afternoon that Numsa is not happy with the kind of offers on the table.

Numsa said in a statement issued later on Friday afternoon that it wants to confirm that it met with the Labour Minister on Friday morning as her intention was to end the current strike.

“We learnt this morning that three trade unions, Satawu, Tawusa and Towu went and unilaterally signed the agreement with the employer, without consulting Numsa. Numsa is dismayed by such tactics and rejects the behaviour of the bargaining council secretary, who already issued a memo informing employers that the strike is over because three union have signed,” Numsa said in the statement.

“We want to put the record straight that Numsa is a worker controlled union. This strike was sanctioned by workers as a result of conservative stubborn employers.”

The SA Road Passenger Bargaining Council said on Friday afternoon that if Numsa and one other union decide to continue with a strike, it will be unprotected.

News24 reported earlier that Autopax, the operator of Translux and City to City, has confirmed it has signed a wage agreement which will effectively see its services operational on Friday.
Some routes may still experience problems as services return to operation.

Workers in the passenger bus sector on Wednesday went on strike, demanding a 15% wage increase and better working conditions. Numsa said the intervention of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration had not addressed the union’s grievances and it resolved to call a strike.

[Source: News24]
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