Gautrain workers affiliated to Numsa to embark on strike after wage talks deadlock
Johannesburg - Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) who work for the Gautrain will be on strike on Monday and will be picketing to highlight their demands as part of the strike.
Wage negotiations between the operator of the Gautrain (the Bombela Operating Company) and Numsa has deadlocked and Numsa has given notice that workers affiliated with the union will embark on strike action as of Monday.
“As per the provisions in the Labour Relations Act, this strike will be carried out on a no work, no pay basis, said Gautrain spokesperson Kesagee Nayager.
“The company has offered a 4.1% increase in salaries and all benefits. This offer was rejected by Numsa whose latest demand equates to an increase of approximately 26%,” Nayager said.
Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said: “Our members will be on an indefinite strike until the Bombela Operating Company (BOC) engages us meaningfully on our demands. The BOC refuses to negotiate wages with us, they are simply imposing a 4% increase on our members, without engaging or negotiating with them. We are demanding 8 percent increase in order to cushion the lowest paid worker who earns approximately R8500 per month.
“We condemn attempts by the BOC to intimidate our members into backing down from the strike and backing down on their demands. They have been sending out letters to employees, trying to encourage them to resign from NUMSA in an effort to block the strike.
“We condemn these cowardly attempts with the contempt they deserve. The management of Gautrain still have an opportunity to engage us, but they refuse. Instead they would rather jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of commuters by provoking our members to strike, and refusing to sit around the table to negotiate.”
Hlubi-Majola said a picket would take place on Monday from 8am till 11am outside Bombela’s offices in Glen Austin, Midrand.
Nayager said the company would implement a contingency plan to ensure that the train service would still run.
“Additional security measures have been implemented on the Gautrain system and the safety of our passengers will not be compromised.
“During the morning and afternoon peak periods, trains will be available every 30 minutes on both the North-South and East-West lines. The morning peak period is between 05h30 and 09h00 and the afternoon peak period is between 15h00 and 19h00. In order to ensure that sufficient capacity is available, all trains operating in the peak periods will be 8-car trains. Services during the off peak will be confirmed early on Monday morning.
“The bus and midi-bus service will not be affected by the strike and will operate as per the standard schedule,” Nayager said.