Gautrain strike over as agreement is reached after 10-day deadlock

14 October 2020 - 19:24
The Gautrain is set to resume partial operations on Thursday and full operations on Friday after reaching an agreement with workers who went on a strike for nearly two weeks.
The Gautrain is set to resume partial operations on Thursday and full operations on Friday after reaching an agreement with workers who went on a strike for nearly two weeks. 
Image: The Times / Halden Krog

Gautrain is set to resume full operations after reaching an agreement with workers who were on strike for nearly two weeks.

This is according to spokesperson Kesagee Nayager, who said the company had offered a 4.1% salary increment.

“We are pleased to advise that the strike which commenced on October 5 2020, following wage negotiations that deadlocked between the Bombela Operating Company and Numsa, has ended. Numsa and BOC, with the support of the CCMA, have found a way in which the company’s offer of 4.1% can be supported with employees in the lowest salary bands being better protected through this difficult period,” said Nayager.

This comes after talks between the union and the employer hit a snag last week. Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said talks broke down and an agreement to mediate through the CCMA was reached.

“We welcome the signing of the agreement, particularly as the increase which has been secured benefits the lowest-paid workers most. If workers had received a 4.1% increase it would have meant that the lowest-paid worker would only get a R348 increase, compared to a R900 per month increase which we secured, which in reality translates to a more than 10% increase,” said Hlubi-Majola.

The union said they had agreed on the following:

  • Lower-income earners earning up to and including R8,500 per month will receive a R900 per month increase
  • Employees earning R8,501 to R20,000 per month will receive R850 per month more
  • All employees who earn more than R20,000 will receive a 4.1% increase
  • The increase will be backdated to July 1 2020.

Workers were set to return to work on Thursday.

“We thank our members who were resolute about their demands. Because of their courage and the sacrifices, they made by embarking on strike action, all workers at Gautrain have received an increase. Now that the agreement has been signed today, the strike has officially been called off. Our members have agreed to resume their duties tomorrow morning (Thursday)," added Hlubi-Majola.

Nayeger said the standard Gautrain train service would resume on Friday. This as trains were expected to continue to operate at 15-minute intervals in the peak periods and at 30-minute intervals in the off-peak period on Thursday.

“We wish to thank the CCMA for its intervention and assistance in ending the wage deadlock. We also thank our passengers for their patience and understanding,” she added.

All stations will be open.

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