Pretoria - The City of Tshwane may ask its contractors to interdict members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) who downed tools last week and halted bus services should the aggrieved workers intensify their strike action this week.
This was revealed to the Pretoria News in an exclusive interview by MMC for Roads and Transport Dikeledi Selowa, who received a memorandum from frustrated workers employed through fare collections agency Xtremetec, Tshwane Rapid Transit and Tshwane Affected Investment Operation on Friday.
After halting bus services from Wednesday in demand of a R2 500 transport allowance, R60 per hour night shift allowance and medical aid cover, the workers marched to Tshwane House to demand that the City intervene and force its contractors to do right by the workers who provide a service that the City needs.
Handing over their memorandum of demands to Selowa, they threatened to intensify their strike and shut down all Bus Rapid Transit operations in Pretoria altogether this week should the City not intervene, because negotiations with their employers, whom they called “arrogant and dismissive”, had collapsed.
Selowa promised the crowd that the City would immediately get on to their demands and call a meeting with the management of the contractors to meet over the weekend to discuss the issues and conditions of the workers so that by Wednesday they could give a comprehensive response to the workers.
Xtremetec told the workers that they could not afford to increase their transport allowance from R600 to R2 500 or to meet their other demands because they could not afford to do that from the money they received from the City. Tshwane Rapid Transit currently offers a R1 100 transport allowance.
Selowa told the workers that she did not want to make any promises right there, but said they would see during the meeting what could be negotiated within the financial parameters of the City and these businesses.
Speaking to the Pretoria News, she said this was a complex matter because on the one hand these companies had contracts to provide a service on behalf of the City, but if that service was not provided and the City dissolved their contracts, the City could face costly litigation. On the other hand, people at home were being inconvenienced and wanted bus services.
“With A Re Yeng, obviously there will be a lot of commuters who will be affected. If they do decide to intensify their strike, we will tell Tshwane Rapid Transit, as the employer and the client, that it is your job to get a court interdict to force them to go back to work, as we try to negotiate to find each other.
Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said: “The employers at Tshwane Rapid Transit, Tshwane Affected Investment Operation, and Xtremetec are not adhering fully to the terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.”