Metrobus counts cost of ongoing drivers' strike

The union has demanded an 18% salary increase and has also raised concerns relating to salary disparities and unfair dismissals. However, Metrobus said it was unable to meet that demand.

Picture: @JoburgMetrobus/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Metrobus has accused labour union Demawusa of being greedy and destructive as the strike by drivers entered its seventh day, with no end in sight.

The indefinite strike came after both the union and the employer deadlocked during salary negotiations last week.

The union has demanded an 18% salary increase and has also raised concerns relating to salary disparities and unfair dismissals. However, Metrobus said that it was unable to meet that demand.

The bus company has refused to enter into wage negotiations, saying that it was looking at other ways to resolve the dispute.

At the same time, MetroBus management said the union was holding them to ransom, with more than 30, 000 commuters affected.

Demawusa has tabled a list of demands including R15,000 COVID-19 allowance and a 14th cheque.

Metrobus spokesperson Goodwill Shiburi said that the municipal entity had been losing at least R250,000 a day since the strike started.

“On a daily basis, each time we are not able to operate a single bus it costs R250,000 it’s an extra cost to the commuters because they have already prepaid for the tags for May. It amounts to about R320,000 collectively to commuters," he said.

Meanwhile, Demawusa said it would not back down until demands are met.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.