Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

As the Johannesburg Metrobus strike enters its third week, more companies are to be hit by disputes in the coming months.

Doctors, bus drivers, road freight workers and a metro police department were among employees who downed tools this year.

The salary and wage negotiations period has started and unions are bracing "to fight vigorously" for more money and better working conditions.

The Metrobus strike is still on after an initial offer was rejected by the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) last week.

At least 800 Samwu-aligned Metrobus staff members, including 502 drivers, are on strike over a salary progression dispute.

The union has threatened to apply for a secondary strike to get all of the City of Johannesburg departments to join in the strike.

Neither Metrobus nor Samwu would disclose what or how much the offer was.

Negotiations are expected to resume today.

Mining sector workers, one of the hardest hit by the global economic meltdown, said they would accept nothing less than a 15percent wage increase.

The National Union of Mineworkers will start negotiations with the employer organisation, the SA Chamber of Mines, this week.

"The mandate is clear and our members have said they will accept no excuses from the industry," said NUM general secretary Frans Baleni.

The union said it believed that the employers could afford to meet their demand.

Cosatu's South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and Fedusa's United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) have declared a wage dispute with Transnet after wage talks broke down in the Transnet Bargaining Council last week.

Satawu has warned of a possible strike by Transnet's 55000 rail, engineering, port and pipeline employees if the dispute is not settled.