Rea Vaya bus drivers expected back at work

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pretoria - Striking Rea Vaya bus drivers who will fail to report back to work this morning following their week-long illegal strike will be dismissed.

Spokesperson of Piotrans, the bus operating company, Eric Motswane, said: "Together with their trade union leadership, the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), we've agreed that they must return to work this morning.

"During our meeting, we also made it clear that those who fail to report to work today will be dismissed ... most of the drivers have already arrived."

According to Motswane, once the drivers are done with their registration for duty, the bus operations between Johannesburg CBD, Soweto and the surrounding area will resume.

However, he said negotiations for other demands raised by the bus drivers will start immediately. This will happen simultaneously with the necessary disciplinary action against drivers who would have failed to report for duty today.

Rea Vaya bus drivers embarked on an illegal strike last week Monday leaving their daily 35 000 commuters stranded.

Last Tuesday, striking bus drivers, who were protesting against the new proposed working shifts, ignored a Labour Court interdict ordering them to return to work.

"We hope that the illegal strike by the Piotrans drivers will be resolved today. Rea Vaya wishes to once again apologise to all Rea Vaya passengers for the inconvenience caused," he said.

Meanwhile, Gautrain bus passengers have had to organise alternative transport as Gautrain bus drivers embarked on a one-day unprotected strike today.

However, train services will remain unaffected.

Errol Braithwaite of Bombela Concession Company said the extent of the service disruption is unclear at this stage, but bus passengers have been advised to make alternative arrangements for today to avoid possible inconvenience.

Braithwaite said efforts to resolve the strike are ongoing.

Gautrain has apologised to its customers for the inconvenience.