From the news desk

MyCiTi strike to go ahead despite interdict

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Striking MyCiTi workers were expected draw their protest into its second week when they descend on the Civic Centre today.

This is despite the City saying it obtained an urgent interdict against the striking workers, preventing them from intimidating, harassing or assaulting MyCiTi passengers and staff, or damaging MyCiTi stations, depots or buses.

Two female bus drivers were allegedly held hostage by their fellow striking colleagues last week, according to the City. MyCiTi bus driver Patrick Mabindisa said that despite the interdict, they planned to go ahead with the strike.

“We will be at the Civic Centre from 5am,” he said.

National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) regional general secretary Vuyo Lufele also confirmed that the strike would go into its sixth day.

He said they were planning to meet with City officials to discuss workers’ demands.

The meeting was expected to be joined by the ANC and EFF, Lufele said.

“The workers’ issue is with the City,” Lufele said.

Mayco member for transport Brett Herron previously said the bus drivers were employed by the vehicle operating companies (VOCs) with which the City had long-term contracts to operate the MyCiTi bus routes across Cape Town.

He added that those participating in the unprotected strike were not getting paid while absent from work, and they would face disciplinary action once they returned.

Herron said he was not informed by employees whether they would continue today.

“I hope the service returns to schedule. I’ve been in touch with two different union representatives, both of whom offered to assist in resolving the strike,” Herron said.

“I have made myself available to meet with them and a delegation of their shop stewards, but so far nothing has come of it. I am still happy to meet with them,” he said.

The employees, who include drivers, cashiers and security personnel, are demanding, among other things, equal pay for all workers and better working conditions.

They said they no longer wanted to be “outsourced”. Herron said they were not outsourced.

The MyCiTi service was rolled out in Cape Town in May 2010 after the City entered into long-term operational contracts with VOCs to run the MyCiTi routes.

Herron said the VOCs were set up by the minibus-taxi associations which were affected by the roll-out of the MyCiTi service to the inner city, Hout Bay and Hangberg, Table View, Atlantis, and parts of Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha.

[Source: Independent Online]
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