Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa). The union said members at the Tshwane Rapid Transit (TRT) were on strike and the Areyeng bus service would be terminated from Monday. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) members at the Tshwane Rapid Transit (TRT) service said they were on strike and the Areyeng bus service would be suspended from Monday. 

“At the heart of the strike is that we demand that all workers, especially the 64 fixed-term contractors must receive the same benefits and conditions as those who are permanent,” Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said. 

“Our ultimate goal is for them to be made permanent, but in the meantime, there is no justification for earning far below the average wage, compared to permanent staff whose wages are determined by the main agreement of South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council (SARPBC).” 

She said workers on fixed-term contracts in the company do not enjoy the same rights and protection as permanent staff and this is unacceptable. She also said that their salaries were decided at the discretion of the employer. 

“This is because of an agreement which was negotiated by another union which allowed the employer to determine the wages. Fixed term contractors earn approximately R7 500 per month while permanent staff earn R11 000. This is blatantly unfair and this is why our members are on strike,” she said. 

Hlubi-Majola said the reasons were Numsa were striking because of travelling allowance, increase in the travelling allowance and their provident. 

“An increase in the travelling allowance because from the time the company started in 2014 workers have not had an increase in the traveling allowance. We demand that all workers who are employed by the company must get travelling allowance,” Hlubi-Majola said.

“We demand that all our members on fixed term contracts who are working at Mamelodi be registered with provident fund because they have been working for the company for the past two years but they don’t have provident fund.”  

She said workers would picket at Belle Ombre branch next to Pretoria Zoo everyday until the issue was resolved.

African News Agency (ANA)