The Hatfield Station was deserted during the day since the strike by Gautrain workers. Normal service resumes tomorrow. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
THE full Gautrain service will resume tomorrow after workers accepted the 8% salary increase offered by Bombela Operating Company.

Gautrain spokesperson Kesagee Nayager said that in addition to the agreed increase, there were additional benefits agreed upon by the bargaining unit.

These include a basic salary increase for employees in the lower B band grading to R8500, housing allowance increase from R750 to R900 and a once-off bonus of R5000 in December.

Nayager added that an incentive bonus based on the company’s operational performance indicators for the period of September 1 to August 31, 2019, to the maximum amount of R5000 would be paid on September 30, 2019.

“The full Gautrain services will resume on Wednesday, once the operational schedule has been updated. In the meantime, the reduced service that has been operational will be further enhanced for today and communicated to passengers.”

Nayager added that commuters who were unable to use their weekly or monthly products as a result of the strike would be compensated for unused trips with no administration fee to be applied.

The end of the strike - by employees affiliated to the United National Transport Union - after just over two weeks came while other forms of public transport were starting to feel the crunch.

Mike Mabunda, a metered taxi driver stationed outside the Hatfield Station, said he had been ferrying customers to the station for five years.

Mabunda said that when the strike initially began on July 30, many commuters were left stranded and relied heavily on metered taxis in the first week.

He said that while he and other taxis made 12 trips on average in the early days of the strike, they were able to make double that under normal circumstances.

Things, however, started taking a turn for the worse in the second week as fewer people went to the station.

“It’s so difficult to find commuters, and it makes it difficult for us too. We were no longer making money and are thus relieved to hear that the strike is over. Hopefully, things will go back to normal from tomorrow because as it stands, we bundle passengers into one car and share the profit.”

Gautrain workers affiliated to the union downed tools on July 30, demanding a 10% basic salary hike, R1600 per month housing allowance and a R20000 per annum unconditional bonus per employee.

They were also demanding an increase in a night work transport subsidy of R64 per night shift and a 55% medical aid contribution.

Union spokesperson Steve Harris previously said workers were adamant they would not return to work until the company met their demands. He said the members were delighted to start earning again and pleased the company had met most of their demands, particularly the incentive bonus workers wanted.