There’s a glimmer of hope that the protracted bus strike could come to an end.
Unions are expected to reply to employers about a new wage offer.
However, the catch is that the 9-percent increase for year one will only come into effect on the day the agreement is signed.
Outstanding issues such as dual-driver payments, night shift allowances, and insourcing will be referred to a task team.
Drivers downed tools three weeks ago demanding wage increases and improved working conditions.
He believed there were good chance unions and employers would reach an agreement as the difference between their current demand, and the employers’ offer, was very small. But it would be difficult for workers to recover from the loss of wages, he added.
“For the minimum salary of R6 900, their current counteroffer of 9% is an R17 difference to the proposed offer of 8.75%. With this increase of 9%, drivers would earn R7 500,” he said.
Schussler considered this increase to be somewhat of a pyrrhic victory.
“Now that the strike is on day 24, workers are looking at a loss of R5 520. It will be impossible for them to recover that money. They would have to make that money up with overtime.”
He suggested that the striking workers have lost a total amount of R287.5 million so far.
“Some of our unions go on strike too quickly and often propose wages that are too high. Industries are often unable to meet those demands. When strikes become continuous, they harm the economy. It would be wiser to have an enforced mediation before a strike extends to two weeks. I don’t think the strike was worth it.”
But Satawu disagreed.
Sabela said: “Although this has affected workers as they haven’t been earning, it’s a short-term loss for long-term gains.”