25 Apr 2013

South Africa: after talks fail the union consults on solidarity action

An indefinite strike by almost 30,000 bus drivers continues, and could spread to other sectors of transportation. Yesterday's talks between unions and the Bus Employers Association failed to resolve wage negotiations. However, the SA Transport and Workers Union (Satawu) and the Transport and Omnibus Workers Union (Towu) lowered their initial salary demand from 18% to 13% while the Bus Employers Association raised their counter offer from 6.5% to 8%.
During the talks in Johannesburg, about 800 protesting drivers in Athlone were singing “even if we die we don’t fear” and shouted “To hell with the increase that bosses are offering – it is time for the government to take over the industry.”

The strike is expected to spread to the luxury bus sector today. This morning Vincent Masoga, spokesman for Satawu, reiterated the union’s intention to consult with workers in road, rail and ocean freight about a solidarity strike.

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