Strike threatens to halt Gautrain

Johannesburg - Gautrain train drivers and conductors are ready to embark on a strike because of what they claim are unfair working conditions.

Utatu-Sarhwu (South African Railways and Harbours Workers Union) claims there are many problems regarding train drivers and conductors, including staff members not being allowed to use the trains to get to and from work, being made to work long hours and being refused permission to use lifts if the escalators are not working.

A Gautrain arrives at the Rosebank station. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

The Sandton Gautrain station is 1km deep and staff have to walk up and down the stairs when the escalators are out of order.

Union spokesman Neels Haasbroek said there was great unhappiness among the staff members.

Among the other problems he said they faced are:

Bombela Operating Company spokesman Errol Braithwaite said the company was currently engaged in wage negotiations with its staff through the relevant unions.

“These are at a sensitive stage and being conducted through the proper channels. It would be detrimental to these negotiations to respond to disingenuous allegations from anonymous persons in the media.

“The company remains fully compliant with labour, health and safety regulations and is committed to upholding the welfare of its staff and interests of customers.”