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Gautrain strike will affect airport commuters in Joburg

Image: Russell Roberts

Passengers travelling to OR Tambo International Airport on Monday were advised to make provision for delays and longer travelling times to the airport due to a strike by workers operating the Gautrain.

Wage negotiations between the United National Transport Union (Untu) and Bombela Operating Company deadlocked over the weekend after the parties failed to reach an agreement.

“People travelling to the airport are advised to check the contingency plans put in place by the Gautrain operating company. However‚ given the circumstances‚ airport management advises air passengers to give themselves more time than usual to get to the airport‚” said Leigh Gunkel-Keuler‚ spokesperson for the airport.

“The Gautrain operating company has advised that for people travelling to OR Tambo International Airport and Rhodesfield stations‚ there will be a bus service between Sandton and Rhodesfield stations and a bus or midi-bus service between Rhodesfield and OR Tambo stations. This service will operate from 5.45am to 7pm. A fixed fare of R21 per bus trip will apply for this service.”

Airport management said those who wished to use their cars to get to the airport‚ could do so as there was enough parking.

“Passengers flying out of OR Tambo International Airport for longer periods can also use the new long-term parking area that opened earlier this year. Travellers can book online at http://www.airports.co.za/utilities/parking-calculator.

“The long-term parking area in the MSP2 parkade under the City Lodge hotel offers 4‚300 parking bays over five levels. This parkade is a five-minute walk from domestic and international terminals‚” said Gunkel-Keuler.

Wage negotiations deadlocked over the weekend. Untu is demanding a 10% increase‚ a housing allowance of R1‚600‚ a transport allowance and an increase in their night shift allowance.

On Sunday‚ Gautrain management released contingency plans for the strike on Monday.

Management said trains would be running according to a reduced schedule‚ which would start at 5.45am‚ and that there would be additional security at stations.

Frustrated commuters took to Twitter to express their anger at the inconvenience caused by the strike.

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