Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) have rejected the latest wage offer by employers in the bus passenger sector. Thousands of Numsa members have gone on strike to protest against the dehumanising conditions faced by employees in the bus passenger sector.
Since embarking on strike action today, employers responded by requesting that we meet and negotiate in the bargaining council, which is being chaired by the CCMA. Those talks have broken down, leaving us with no choice but to continue our strike action. We were hoping that the employer would engage meaningfully with our demands and put a fair offer on the table, but that wasn’t the case.
Offer made by employer:
– 9 percent across the board wage increase
– Overtime pay for drivers, but only AFTER they have worked a 16 hour shift
– An increase of the night shift allowance by 10 percent
– An increase 10 percent for cross border allowance
As Numsa we reject this offer with the contempt it deserves. The fact that employers are not willing to offer a double digit increase, and are unwilling to pay the co-driver for his or her services when they are not driving is simply a disgrace. Furthermore employers have the nerve to propose that our members should only be paid overtime after they have worked a 16 hour shift! This proves that they intend to continue abusing our members, and putting their lives, as well that of passengers and motorists at risk by forcing drivers to work long hours.
We wish to place on the record that Numsa will not entertain offers which are negotiated outside of the bargaining council, and therefore any claim that we rejected an offer from Autopax is untrue. No formal offer was made to us by Autopax. We are not entertaining any offers which do not come through the bargaining council.
In the meantime we will intensify the strike. It is clear that the employers don’t care about resolving the strike, neither do they care about the welfare of workers, or the public at large. We call on all workers to unite behind this just cause for equality and dignity. We will NOT return to work until the Employer starts to treat our members like human beings, instead of slave labour.