Commuters throughout the country will breathe a sigh of relief today, after news that the national bus strike has finally ended. An announcement made a short while ago by unions ended the strike action which lasted almost a month.
Transport Omnibus Workers Union (TOWU) spokesperson, Tony Franks confirmed that an agreement was signed by the South African Bus Employers Association and Commuter Bus Employers Organisation (Cobeo), as well as the five unions; South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu), TOWU, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and Tirisano Transport Workers Union.
“The strike has been called off and now we are communicating it to all members,” said Franks. Bus routes will be fully functional on Tuesday morning.
Unions modified their demand and a new agreement was signed on the basis that there would be back pay but not on wage benefits. The back pay will be paid from April 1 to April,17 and the increment will go into effect from the date of signing.
On Friday, South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), Transport and Omnibus Workers Union (Towu) and Transport and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (Tawusa) announced at a media briefing that they would continue to strike until their demands were met.
The issue of backpay and night shift allowances held back the agreement on Friday.
Employers offered unions a 9% increase for this year, followed by an 8% increase in the second year, and unions agreed to accept the offer. Workers, however, demanded that the terms of the new deal be backdated to 1 April, which has now been accepted.