Metrobus and drivers meet on strike

28 February 2011 - 14:47
By Sapa

Johannesburg Metrobus drivers and management resumed negotiations on Monday in an effort to end a three-week strike.

Metrobus spokeswoman Esther Dreyer said the drivers had indicated that they wanted to speak to management.

"It's a no work, no pay situation... the drivers were not paid at the end of February. They are not very happy and have now indicated that they would like to speak to management."

Dreyer said the meeting between management and the SA Municipal Workers Union' (Samwu) began on Monday morning.

The strike, involving 70 Metrobus drivers, started on February 9 amid dissatisfaction about new shifts implemented on December 6.

Metrobus suspended the public bus service two weeks ago because of incidents of intimidation, with five non-striking drivers assaulted the week before.

Negotiations with Samwu thereafter deadlocked. The company then went to the Labour Court for a ruling to end the strike. However, the Labour Court ruled that the strike was legal.

On Tuesday last week, Metrobus appealed the ruling. Dreyer said the appeal was unsuccessful.

No buses were running on Monday.

She said an update on the talks would be available on Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning.

Samwu could not be reached for comment. A receptionist at the office in Johannesburg said the branch secretary Dumisani Langa as well as everyone else involved in "Metrobus issue" were in a meeting.