Johannesburg – The SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) was ready for tough wage negotiations beginning this week for the passenger bus sector, it said on Monday.
The transport unions and employers in the SA Road Passenger Bargaining Council will put their offers on the table at the negotiations set to take place in three phases, starting this week.
Satawu, the biggest union in the industry, said it had this year managed to influence other unions to bring radical demands to improve working conditions.
The demands include a 30 percent across-the-board wage increase and an industry basic minimum wage of R15 000 a month.
Satawu said ordinary work hours should not exceed 40 hours a week without realigning current wages.
The union also wants any work performed after 6pm and before 6am the next morning to be deemed night work and be paid at 1.5 times the normal rate.
Satawu spokesperson Zanele Sabela said the main collective agreement was 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,” Sabela said.
“However, we urge them to ready themselves for battle to ensure transformative gains for our members.”
Satawu also said employers should provide legal assistance of R10 000 when an employee on duty was involved in an accident and charged with a criminal offence.