Unions declare dispute in bus passenger wage talks

Trade unions in the passenger bus sector have declared a dispute which could lead to a national bus driver strike.

FILE: Picture: Numsa.

CAPE TOWN - Trade unions in the passenger bus sector have declared a dispute which could lead to a national bus driver strike.

The unions and the bus companies have failed to reach a deal in the Bus Passengers Council following two rounds of negotiations.

Workers are demanding a 20% across the board increase and a living wage of R15,000 a month while companies are offering R6,000.

The unions, including National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa), South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and Transport & Omnibus Workers Union (TOWU), will be heading to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) from next month to begin mediation with the two bus associations that represent 16 companies.

If those talks fail, a strike certificate could be issued.

Numsa claims its members are not compensated for working overtime and on Public Holidays.

It states further that drivers are expected to put in 18-hour shifts but are only paid for half of those hours.

The bus companies says they can only afford a 6% increase for 2017 and a further 6.5% increase each year for the next 2 years.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)