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Rea Vaya won’t negotiate with union

Piotrans said it would only start talks once grievances were known through a formal memorandum.

Rea Vaya bus terminal, Johannesburg. Picture: Rea Vaya on Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The company that operates Rea Vaya buses in Johannesburg on Wednesday said it will not negotiate with the union representing drivers.

Piotrans said it would only start talks once grievances were known through a formal memorandum.

The company said it had not received any confirmation from the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) that its members had embarked on a legal strike.

Around 250 drivers abandoned their vehicles on Monday, causing major congestion in the city centre.

Piotrans General Manager Dumisani Mntambo said they had no choice but to discipline drivers.

"We will only talk to people when they've given [us] their demands. We can't even pronounce this as a strike, it's desertion. It's abandoning the buses on the roads - that's what they all did."

Mntambo said threats of suspension were sent to all drivers on Tuesday.

Piotrans asked drivers to return to work immediately.

"We cannot just sit and expect that somebody will come to us and tell us what to do because if you've deserted your employment, this is the policy we need to follow."

It is still not clear when operations will resume.