Johannesburg - Commuters were left stranded in Johannesburg
on Monday when the city's bus rapid transit system (BRT) drivers went on
"Rea Vaya services will not be operating... The bus
drivers have given their employer Piotrans notice that they will go on
strike," city spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said.
Piotrans, the company contracted to the city to operate the
first phase of the Rea Vaya bus service, failed to reach agreement on a labour
dispute with the bus drivers on Friday, and a strike notice was issued.
The SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) said it was
demanding an increase in workers' salaries and better employment conditions.
"About 10 workers had their salaries adjusted and
increased by R3 000 recently, while other were left unchanged," said Samwu
regional chairperson Dion Makura.
The union was also demanding a change to the shift system
because the one currently being used was "strenuous, and slavery".
Makura said workers also wanted Piotrans to pay
contributions to a provident fund from the time they were employed.
"The employer only made contributions (to the provident
fund) starting in 2010. But there are workers who started back in August
2009," he said.
Piotrans could not be reached for comment.
In August last year, about 250 BRT bus drivers went on a
strike, demanding a salary of R15 000 a month. The strike lasted eight weeks
and ended with the drivers settling for R6 500.
At that time, the strike left about 35 000 BRT commuters
stranded between Soweto and Johannesburg.
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