Gautrain workers affiliated to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) intend to go on strike over a wage dispute from next week, Gautrain operator Bombela Operating Company said on Saturday.
Wage negotiations between Bombela and Numsa, a recognized trade union, had deadlocked and Numsa had given notice that affiliated workers would go on strike as of Monday, Gautrain spokesperson Kesagee Nayager said in a statement.
“As per the provisions in the Labour Relations Act, this strike will be carried out on a no work, no pay basis. The company has offered a 4.1 percent increase in salaries and all benefits. This offer was rejected by Numsa whose latest demand equates to an increase of approximately 26 percent.“
A contingency plan would be implemented to ensure that the company could still deliver a train service to passengers during this “unfortunate strike action”. Additional security measures had been implemented on the Gautrain system and the safety of passengers would not be compromised, Nayager said.
During the morning and afternoon peak periods, trains would be available every 30 minutes on both the North-South and East-West lines. The morning peak period is between 5.30 am and 9 am and the afternoon peak period between 3 pm and 7 pm. In order to ensure that sufficient capacity was available, all trains operating in the peak periods would be eight-car trains. Services during the off-peak would be confirmed early on Monday morning.
The bus and midi-bus service would not be affected by the strike and would operate as per the standard schedule.
“While we respect workers’ right to strike within the framework of the Labour Relations Act, striking workers must equally respect that their colleagues also have a right to work without intimidation.
“We apologize in advance for the inconvenience to our passengers and we will keep them informed of any changes in this regard,” Nayager said.
-African News Agency (ANA)
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