Strike could knock Gautrain off track

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IOL gautrain INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS The Gautrain train service was disrupted on Friday morning when a car crashed into an Eskom pylon, Bombela said. File photo: Yolande Du Preez

Johannesburg - The 53 000 passengers who use the Gautrain on a daily basis could find themselves stranded on Monday morning as workers plan to down tools.

Although the SA Railways and Harbours Workers Union has refused to confirm the strike, Bombela Concession Company confirmed that it received a strike notice.

Union spokesman Neels Haasbroek refused to comment on Friday morning.

The union has declared a dispute with Bombela over salary increases. It is demanding a 9 percent increase, which the company refused, but counter-offered a rise of 8.2 percent. This was accepted by the union, on condition it was back-dated to July.

However, Bombela refused this.

The Gautrain buses will not be affected.

The strike means that thousands of commuters who rely on the trains to get to and from work, and OR Tambo International, will have to resort to taxis, buses and private cars, which could add to congestion on the roads next week.

Errol Braithwaite, spokesman for Bombela, confirmed on Friday morning that the company had received a strike notice effective Monday.

However, he said, engagements would continue on Friday morning “with a view to averting the possibility of a strike and any disruptions to Gautrain services”.

He said customers would be kept fully updated and were requested to follow Gautrain on Facebook and Twitter, and also to SMS the word “ALERT” to 32693 to receive service status updates.

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