Metrobus employees have vowed to continue with the strike over pay hikes until their demands are met.
Speaking at Gandhi Square in the Johannesburg CBD yesterday as the strike entered the third day, the drivers affiliated to Democratic Municipal and Allied Workers’ Union of SA (Demawusa) said they were happy that busses have stopped operating.
“We feel oppressed. The fact that there are no buses working is good because it will make the management of Metrobus to take our demands seriously,” said one driver who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation.
This week, workers affiliated to Demawusa downed their tools because their employer refused to accede to their 18% salary increase demand.
Other demands that Demawusa made to Metrobus are:
- Adjustment of all salary disparity;
- Payment of long service bonus;
- Implementation of the three band salary structure; and
- Payment of Covid-19 allowance
Another driver who spoke on condition of anonymity called on commuters to join their strike.
“We want passengers and people who are buying tickets to help us as well. They are now stranded so they should join us,” said the driver.
Demawusa deputy secretary general Dion Makhura said they are currently not involved in any talks with Metrobus.
“On Monday, they said they can’t talk to us unless we suspend our strike. So, we are at loggerheads,” said Makhura.
Metrobus spokesperson Goodwill Shivuri said the national bargaining council is the appropriate structure that deals with salary negotiations.
“Salaries for all local government employees are negotiated at the bargaining council. We are unable to accede to the demands because those are done outside a formal structure which is legislated by government,” said Shivuri.