Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/Africa News Agency (ANA

Johannesburg - The ongoing strike by action drivers at Metrobus could result in loses of millions of rand, the company said on Thursday.

“This is very costly because we now have to pay the drivers that are not striking,” said Goodwill Shiburi, Metrobus spokesman. 

"It is a cost to the economy as more than 30 000 passengers have to make other means of getting to work and most of our customers use the prepaid tag system so if trips expire, we will have to re-credit them."

The strike by members of Democratic Municipal and Allied Workers Union (Demawusa) began on Monday.

Demawusa, a minority union, is demanding office space in three Metrobus bus depots and for salaries to be paid according to the number of years one has been in service. 

The other bigger unions - the South African Municipal Workers Union and the Independent Municipal & Allied Trade Union - have offices at Metrobus depots.

On Tuesday, the union approached the  Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) for assistance. 

Dion Makhura, Demawusa spokesperson, said Metrobus cancelled a meeting scheduled for Thursday morning. 

“We went to the CCMA today but Metrobus cancelled 15 minutes after the meeting was supposed to have started. We will now wait for the court sitting to defend ourselves.”

Metrobus had earlier indicated that it was going to approach courts to intervene.

Shiburi said Metrobus was going to court was because 80% of the workers were willing to work, but were being intimidated by the protesting minority. 

The matter was expected to be heard in court later Thursday.

African News Agency/ANA