South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (SATAWU), other unions and employers in the South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council (SARPBAC) are embarking on wage negotiations for the passenger bus sector.
The negotiations are set take place in three phases starting today until 27 January; 6 to 9 February with the final session to be held from 27 February to 2 March.
A crucial part of the public transport system, the passenger bus sector is estimated to transport more than 20% of South African households for economic, social and other reasons. Taxis carry the bulk of passengers at 68.8% with trains transporting the remaining 9.9% according to Statistics SA National Household Travel Survey (2014).
As the biggest union in the industry, SATAWU has always been the pillar of collective bargaining since 1996 when the bargaining council was established. Drawing on its extensive experience, SATAWU has this year managed to influence other unions to bring forth radical demands in order to transform working conditions for the better.
The demands include a 30% across the board wage increase and an industry basic minimum wage of R15 000 per month. Ordinary work hours are not to exceed 40 hours in any week without realigning current wages/salaries. Any work performed after 6pm and before 6am the next morning is to be deemed night work and be remunerated at 1.5 times the normal rate. Employers are to provide legal assistance to the tune of R10 000 when an employee on duty is involved in an accident and is subsequently charged with a criminal offence.
The Main Collective Agreement is compromised on certain aspects as evidenced by several illegal strikes in this sector last year. We believe it is now time to turn the situation around. We will not compromise on our mission or accept mediocrity. We warn those unions who often vacillate when stances harden, that we will pull through with or without them. However, we urge them to ready themselves for battle to ensure transformative gains for our members.
For more information contact:
Zanele Sabela, SATAWU Media Officer
011 403 2077 / firstname.lastname@example.org