Union revises wage demands as Gautrain strike continues | Fin24
 
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Union revises wage demands as Gautrain strike continues

Aug 07 2018 17:55
Tehillah Niselow

The United National Transport Union (UNTU) on Tuesday revised its wage demand for Gautrain workers, as the strike entered its ninth day.

According to the new demand, the union wants a 9% basic salary increase across the board, a housing allowance of R1 400 , a 9% increase to the travel allowance and incentive bonuses of R15 000.

The Bombela Operating Company, which runs the Gautrain, is offering a 8.6% wage increases across the board.

UNTU previously demanded a 10% basic salary increase, a transport allowance of R800, a housing allowance of R1 600 and  a once-off incentive bonus of R20 000 for all employees.

The concession by UNTU comes a day after the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) stepped in to try and revise the industrial action amidst commuter frustration and increased traffic on Gauteng’s major highways.

Union spokesperson Sonja Carstens said they would like to see the deadlock in the dispute resolved as the "no work-no pay principle" is taking a toll on its members.

“With the revised demand, we would really like to see the employer also moving…let’s hope and pray for the best,” Carstens said.

The Gautrain, which ferries approximately 60 000 people a month, has been running a reduced peak period service - 05:45 to 09:00 and 16:00 to 17:00 - since the strike began on Monday 30 July.

Gautrain spokesperson Kesagee Nayager said in response that UNTU’s revised demand equates to an increase of 16.6% overall, down from its previous call for a 19.5% hike.

The rapid rail service said it remains available to meet with the CCMA and UNTU at short notice to discuss the new demand.

Nayager, however, added that the CCMA’s attempt to intervene in the wage deadlock had “been unsuccessful".

"The union abandoned discussions, rejecting two additional, enhanced offers tabled by the company – both of which made provision for an incentive bonus, which UNTU had been requesting. In fact, in total, three offers have made provision for an incentive bonus," the Gautrain statement read.

The company said it was encouraged by the willingness of “numerous” non-unionised employees to return to work and promised that this will allow the Gautrain to expand the limited operations it has been forced to adopt during the strike.

UNTU maintains that 90% of the Gautrain's 350 employees belong to the union.

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ccma  |  cape town  |  johannesburg  |  strike action  |  gautrain
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