Bus companies still willing to negotiate to end strike

Employers are offering a 9% salary increase from this month until next march. This will be followed by an 8% hike from April 2019 until march 2020.

FILE: Golden Arrow buses parked at the Cape Town bus terminal. Pictures: Bertram Malgas/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG – Bus companies say they are still open to negotiations to end the protracted driver strike.

Employers are offering a 9% salary increase from this month until next march. This will be followed by an 8% hike from April 2019 until March 2020.

Unions want a 9.5% increase among other demands.

John Dammert from the employer's caucus explains what mediators' have suggested at the negotiating table.

“The mediators have made a proposal which we have supported and the mediators’ proposal suggest 8% in first year and 8.5% in the second year, and that’s something we’re quite happy to support.”

The industrial action has lurched into its third week.

At the same time, Satawu says unions participating in the nationwide bus strike have decided that a request will be made to the Bargaining Council General Secretary to convene a meeting to try and settle the wage dispute.

Satawu's Zanele Sabela says hopefully a way forward can be achieved with the Bargaining Council on board.

“As we get into the third week [of the strike], we thought we should write to the Bargaining Council and say can we have another go at it?”

Meanwhile, Cape Town commuters are forced to take alternative transport and say they're are forking out extra money.

A frustrated bus commuter Iptishaam Kramer says it’s been a tough few weeks getting to work with increase traffic and long queues.

“The traffic is worse and your pocket can’t even handle it because the cost of living is really high.”

City's Brett Herron MyCiTi bus service remains suspended until further notice and that they're uncertain when the dead-locked wage negotiations will be resolved.

“We’re asking commuters to make alternative arrangements and we continue to encourage parties on the negotiation process to work hard to find each other. The strike is having a significant impact on hundreds or thousands of Cape Town commuters.”