Bus driver wage talks continue

Satawu hopes a deal will be struck to end the nationwide bus drivers strike.

Golden Arrow buses parked off at the terminus in the Cape Town CBD. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) is hoping for some progress in wage negotiations with employers on Wednesday.

Bus drivers belonging to various unions including Satawu have been on strike since Friday last week.

Unions are demanding drivers be given an 18 percent wage increase while the Commuter Bus Employer's Organisation (Cobeo) is offering 6,5 percent.

Satawu's Vincent Masoga said the cost of living was becoming too high.

"Because of the pressures of the economy, the inflation and the increase in all sorts of commodities and consumers goods that our members are dependent on, families are dependent on these members as well."

Meanwhile, the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Western Cape said on Tuesday the protracted bus driver strike must come to an end soon.

The Chamber's Viola Manuel said, "The longer these strikes continue the worse it is going to be for our economy. We are calling for a swift resolution. We are dealing with a dangerous precedent that is being set by prolonged industrial action."

Transport unions Satawu and the Transport and Omnibus Workers' Union (Towu) will meet with the Cobeo in Johannesburg on Wednesday to try and reach a mutual agreement.