Statement by the Transport and Services Workers Union (TASWU) on the industrial action by its members who are in road passenger transport
The wage negotiations in the South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council (SARPBAC) that started on 9 February 2017. The Unions jointly made demands for consideration by the employer, the demands include but not limited to the following:
- A 30% increase across the board.
- Subsistence and Travel Allowance to be increased to R350 per trip
- Legal Assistance when the driver is involved in an accident to be R10 000
- Night Work to be paid in accordance with the provisions of the BCEA.
- Insourcing all outsourced workers
- Medical aid the employer to contribute 80% and employee 20%
The negotiations became protracted, with the employer party unwilling to negotiate in good faith and without any intention to settle the matters in dispute. In the quest to reach settlement on wages and other Issues of Mutual interest, the trade unions in the Bargaining Council, collectively agreed to revise their proposal to the following:
- 12% increase across the board.
- Subsistence and Travel Allowance to be increased to R150
- Maternity leave
- Insourcing process to be facilitated by CCMA
- Medical aid process to be facilitated by CCMA
The employer remained intransigent and unwilling to compromise and reach settlement with the unions. It must be noted that the employers position to Unions (TASWU, SATAWU, TAWUSA, TOWU, NUMSA) is 7,5% Across the Board. Employers and their respective organizations initially didn’t want to move from 7.5% for months while the trade unions moved from 30% to 12% trying to negotiate in good faith and no results was produced and there was a deadlock between the trade unions and employers organizations.
As the result the unions jointly agreed to engage in industrial action (strike) starting on the 12 of April 2017 in an attempt to persuade the employer to accepting its revised and reasonable demands of the workers. TASWU is committed to finding solutions to the disputes in an amicable manner but if that is impossible then TASWU is committed to fighting in defense and to advance the interests of its members. TASWU is further committed to the unity of the workers in general and the unity of the Employee in the Industry. We urge all the Unions involved not to use this joint action to gain mileage over other unions during the time of this dispute, and to avoid grand standing as that will undermine the unity of the workers and the labour component in Council and in the negotiations.
On the 12th April 2017, the negotiations ensued with an attempt to resolve the impasse, the Mediator (CCMA) suggested to the parties the following:
1. Across the Board Increase of 9% including Minimum Wage
2. Overtime paid at 1,5 times normal hourly rate
3. Allowances increased by 10%
Collectively the Unions revised their position as follows:
1. Across the Board increase including Minimums of 10%
2. Over Time (parties agreed)
3. Allowances increased by 9% to induce employers to accept the demand on: Double or Dual Driver (currently drivers on long distances work for over 20 hours but only paid for 7 hours.
The employers rejected our revised position and therefore solution couldn’t be found, contrary to what is reported in the media, the employer’s position is ATB is at 7,5%.
While the Unions sympathizes with the commuters about the transport inconvenience, we urge all to understand challenges confronted by the employees in the industry.