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Unions issue ultimatum in bus drivers’ wage deadlock

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Unions representing bus drivers have given their employers until Tuesday afternoon to engage them if the looming nationwide strike is to be averted.

Thousands of drivers are preparing to go on strike on Wednesday after wage talks with their employers deadlocked.

They want a 15% wage hike.

The drivers also want to be paid overtime, for working on Sundays and public holidays.

Their unions say majority of them are forced to work 16 hour shifts, and earn less than R5 000 a month.

Acting National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi says, “Our members would rather not take to the streets, but if we have to – we will. We’re urging the bus passenger employers to reach out to us by this [Tuesday] afternoon. So, that we can sit down and find a way to address this crisis.”

“We also urge the transport ministry to intervene in this particular situation. This is something that is going to affect the entire country. We’re calling for a national strike, and it’s going to have a very severe impact [on the country’s economy],” adds Hlubi.

[Source: SABC]
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