Samwu calls off Metrobus strike

Wednesday, May 27, 2009
By: 
Edwin Tshivhidzo

Johannesburg - The five-week long strike by Metrobus drivers has been suspended and bus services in Johannesburg are set to resume on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane announced that the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) had agreed to call off the strike as well as the secondary industrial action which had been planned for Thursday.

"I am proud to announce that the parties have now agreed to use available resources tabled by the Metrobus to settle the dispute," said Mr Mokonyane.

She said that as part of the agreement, Metrobus would introduce a pay progression for all employees as from 1 June this year. The City of Johannesburg had also agreed to withdraw the court application interdicting the industrial action.

"Parties will work together to achieve among others, the strengthening of the local labour forum, improved employer/employee relations, enhanced service delivery and address transformation issues," said the Premier.

The announcement follows a marathon meeting between the Gauteng Provincial Government, the union, the managers at the City of Joburg and the Metrobus on Tuesday.

"While respecting legitimate processes and the existing government labour relations framework, we initiated a series of meetings with both parties to find a lasting solution to the dispute. In all these encounters the parties demonstrated a willingness and commitment to get back to the negotiating table and resolve the dispute.

"I was encouraged by the spirit that the parties displayed throughout the entire process," said Ms Mokonyane.

Joburg City Manager Mavela Dlamini confirmed that buses would be back on the road on Thursday.

Mr Dlamini said that the no-work-no-pay policy would apply with regards to bus drivers being paid their May salaries.

He added that the details of the agreement would be made known in due course. "We are currently looking at what is sustainable to the company, taking into account the losses incurred during the strike."

Mr Dlamini estimated that R9 million had been lost in the last five weeks due to the strike action.

Dumisani Langa, Samwu spokesperson confirmed that the strike had been called off.

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