Union read­ies for tough wage talks

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

THE SA TRANS­PORT and Al­lied Work­ers’ Union (Satawu) was ready for tough wage ne­go­ti­a­tions be­gin­ning this week for the pas­sen­ger bus sec­tor, it said yes­ter­day. The trans­port unions and em­ploy­ers in the SA Road Pas­sen­ger Bar­gain­ing Coun­cil will put their of­fers on the ta­ble at the ne­go­ti­a­tions set to take place in three phases, start­ing this week. Satawu, the big­gest union in the in­dus­try, said it had this year man­aged to in­flu­ence other unions to bring rad­i­cal de­mands to im­prove work­ing con­di­tions. The de­mands in­clude a 30 per­cent across-the-board wage in­crease and an in­dus­try ba­sic min­i­mum wage of R15 000 a month. Satawu said or­di­nary work hours should not ex­ceed 40 hours a week without re­align­ing cur­rent wages. The union also wants any work per­formed af­ter 6pm and be­fore 6am the next morn­ing to be deemed night work and be paid at 1.5 times the nor­mal rate. Satawu spokesper­son Zanele Sa­bela said the main col­lec­tive agree­ment was com­pro­mised on cer­tain as­pects as ev­i­denced by sev­eral il­le­gal strikes in this sec­tor last year. “We be­lieve it is now time to turn the sit­u­a­tion around. We will not com­pro­mise on our mis­sion or ac­cept medi­ocrity. We warn those unions who of­ten vac­il­late when stances harden, that we will pull through with or without them,” Sa­bela said. “How­ever, we urge them to ready them­selves for bat­tle to en­sure trans­for­ma­tive gains for our mem­bers.” Satawu also said em­ploy­ers should pro­vide le­gal as­sis­tance of R10 000 when an em­ployee on duty was in­volved in an ac­ci­dent and charged with a crim­i­nal of­fence. – ANA

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