NEWS
10/05/2018 06:46 SAST | Updated 10/05/2018 06:46 SAST

Striking Bus Drivers To Meet After Rejecting Latest Wage Offer

The weeks-long bus strike will continue as the wage offer was rejected by the unions this week.

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Bus drivers are set to meet on Thursday after rejecting a revised wage offer earlier this week, IOL reported. It was hoped that the offer made last week, of an 8.75 percent wage increase for the first year and 8.25 percent for the second year, would see an end to the crippling month-long strike, but drivers rejected it.

Drivers from across the country, including Cape Town's MyCiti bus service and the City of Joburg's services, the Rea Vaya buses and Golden Arrow buses have been on strike for weeks.

Workers initially wanted a 12 percent increase, and their demand was later dropped to 9 percent. The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) on Wednesday said it would meet its members on Thursday to decide on the way forward.

The strike started on April 18 after three-month-long wage negotiations deadlocked.

According to Business Day, workers also rejected an offer by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to defer other condition-of-employment demands like medical aid and night shift pay to a task team.

Satawu's Zanele Sabela reportedly said there would be no more meetings between the parties as the talks were costly, and the five unions involved in the strike were now looking to the bargaining council to direct the process. The CCMA will reportedly continue to mediate the talks.

According to Eyewitness News (EWN), the unions have counter-offered with a 9 percent wage increase for the first year and 8 percent for the second year. They are reportedly awaiting a response from employers on this offer. But it is not clear whether the parties will be able to agree on the other demands, even if the wage increase is agree to, as these demands, including improved working conditions for long distance drivers and the insourcing of technical workers have not changed, according to Fin24.