Negotiations continue to resolve bus driver strike

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pretoria - Johannesburg's Metro Bus company and striking bus drivers have been locked in negotiations since this morning to resolve the current salary dispute.

The bus drivers strike entered it's second day on Wednesday, leaving buses stationary in the yard and hundreds of commuters stranded in the city centre. The municipal bus service transports about 90 000 passengers daily.

On Tuesday, bus drivers belonging to the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) went on strike, demanding that members with five years' experience be moved to a medium salary band and those with seven and more years be moved to a higher band.

The union has also called for the suspension of a manager alleged to have improperly influenced Metropolitan Police officers during a previous strike.

Metrobus spokesperson Virgil James told BuaNews that Metro Bus was currently engaged in negotiations with the union to reach an urgent agreement. "We are trying to reach an agreement with the union, hopefully there will be some consensus."

He urged Johannesburg commuters to find alternative modes of transport to get to and from home until the bus drivers returned to work.

Metropolitan police spokesperson Edna Mamonyane says there have been no reports of disruptions in the city centre since the strike began. "We have been monitoring the situation very closely."