Numsa, Taswu still holding out on bus driver wage deal

Most striking unions and the bus companies have settled on a 9% increase over a one-year period, and a 1.5% hike for overtime.

FILE: Striking workers hold placards as they demonstrate on the first day of a nationwide strike on 1 July, 2014. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN – Three trade unions, including South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu), have reached an agreement with bus companies effectively putting an end to the three-day bus strike.

This follows a similar deal with Autopax which earlier saw Translux and City to City buses return to the road.

The Transport and Allied Workers Union of South Africa, as well as the Transport and Omnibus Workers Union (Towu), have also signed on the dotted line.

The unions and the bus companies have settled on a 9% increase over a one-year period, and a 1.5% hike for overtime.

Towu general secretary Tony Franks says they didn't want a protracted strike.

“As we had in 2015, a lot of workers lost a lot of money because we were on strike for three weeks. At the end of the day we settled, I believed that we never reached what we wanted to reach but this time around we reached what we wanted to reach.”

While most of the unions have agreed to end the strike, National Union Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) as well as the Transport and Services Workers Union are the only ones holding out.

Meanwhile, Translux and City to City buses are back on the road after they were grounded for two days due to a nationwide bus strike.

Thousands of bus drivers downed tools on Wednesday in support of a 12% wage increase, leaving many commuters across the country in a lurch.

Autopax, the parent company for Translux and City to City buses, claims to have reached an 8.5% as part of a one-year deal with unions at company level. However Numsa says it's not involved in that agreement.

Autopax's Ranti Mahlabana says operations resumed on Friday morning.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)