The South African Transport and Allied Union (Satawu) will be staging a demonstration in the next 24 hours if their request for mediation with bus operating company Transpeninsula is not addressed by the City of Cape Town. Satawu Western Cape provincial secretary Thembela Dakufe said the City remains averse to the federation’s demands and “wants to destroy it”.
Cosatu Western Cape provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich is working with Satawu to bring an end to the strike.
“Cosatu wants to return the services to normality but it is clear that the City of Cape Town does not see this as a priority and they clearly intend to destroy the union by their attempts to undermine the rights of workers. We will continue to support Satawu and will call on other workers to join the strike so that we can ensure that rights of workers are defended in all of the operating companies,” says Ehrenreich.
According to the federation, the City of Cape Town workers of the operating bus company need to recognise the federation in order to assist them to comply with labour law.
“The City should assist to help workers to compile with labour law and to recognise the federation as a movement,” says Ehrenreich.
Cosatu is disappointed that the City has refused its need for mediation.
“With us as a mediator, we will ensure that a negotiated settlement that takes into account the workers and the commuters,” says Ehrenreich.
Satawu claims that the party will always have the support of COSATU as it is affiliated to Cosatu.
“We have their support because we are affiliated to them. So whatever strike we pursue they are always with us,” says Dakufe.
The federation with the assistance of their affiliate wrote a letter to the City of Cape Town to address the issues pertaining to the MyCiti bus strike requesting their intervention. Dakufe said the City has not been forthcoming.
“We are planning on staging a march as the City has failed to respond. They have been too quiet,” says Dakufe.
The unions have appealed to the community to join the demonstration.
“We will be calling the people on the streets to join us to assist us to meet our demands,” says Dafuke.
The City of Cape Town said they refuse to intervene as it is an issue between Transpeninsula and its employees.
“This is a matter that relates to the employment relationship between employees and a private company. The City has no role to play in the management of that relationship other than to ensure that the company, as a City service provider, adheres to sound labour practises and is compliant with the conditions of employment as agreed at the bargaining council,” says mayoral spokesperson Zara Nicholson.
“We have continuously asked and continue to encourage Satawu to return to dialogue with Transpeninsula since this dispute can only be resolved by talking,” adds Nicholson. VOC (Nailah Cornelissen)