Rail staff return after strike
Durban - Metrorail employees have been allowed to return to work following their dismissal for going on an unprotected, two-week-long strike.
National spokesman for SA Transport and Allied Workers Union, Vincent Masoga, told the Daily News that the 68 drivers and 63 metro train guards resumed their duties on Thursday after Metrorail agreed to meet the workers to discuss their concerns.
Masoga said that “a few technical issues” still needed to be discussed, but did not want to go into more detail until talks had been completed.
“We are pleased that Metrorail has agreed to meet to discuss our grievances. We hope we have an agreeable outcome,” he said.
Security, he said, was still a sore point for those who embarked on the strike action.
The drivers told the Daily News at the time of the strike that they feared for their lives after five colleagues had been assaulted by angry commuters in several separate incidents in uMlazi and on the North Coast.
The workers had gone on the wildcat strike on the eve of the Easter weekend.
Metrorail had to drop the number of trains operating in eThekwini and parts of the north and south by a third, about 145 fewer trains than usual.
At the time, Metrorail regional manager Dumi Dube said that the drivers had gone on an unprotected strike, despite reaching an agreement with management to resolve security concerns.
He said management had resolved to dismiss the employees after they “failed to follow the appropriate legal processes governing strike action”.
Metrorail spokesman for KwaZulu-Natal, Zama Nomnganga, did not to respond last night to Daily News inquiries regarding the discussions and the new security measures.