Numsa, Gautrain to return to negotiating table in bid to end strike

Numsa, Gautrain to return to negotiating table in bid to end strike

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and Bombela Operating Company have agreed to return to the negotiating table. 

Gaopalelwe Phalaetsile

Workers affiliated with Numsa downed tools on Monday amid a deadlock in wage negotiations with the company which operates the Gautrain. 


Employees’ demands include an across-the-board salary increase of 9%. 


In a statement released by Numsa on Wednesday, the union said it would take part in the mediation process at the CCMA with an open mind. 


"We are demanding a 9% wage increase, and we are also demanding that Gautrain allow NUMSA shop stewards to represent members and for workers to be compensated with overtime when they work six days a week," the union said.


"We do not think our demands are unreasonable. The lowest-paid worker earns R8000 per month without any benefits. The cost of living is extremely high if one factor in the petrol price, and the fact that the average food basket costs over R5300.


"Numsa also participated in a meeting with the Gautrain Management Authority earlier today, where representatives from the office of the MEC for Transport were also present. The atmosphere of the meeting was positive, and we hope that a speedy resolution will be found to settle the strike.”


At the same time, Gauteng MEC for Transport and Logistics Kedibone Diale-Tlabela says the Bombela Operating Company and Numsa’s decision to return to the negotiating table will result in an approach that balances the workers’ interests against the long-term stability of the Gautrain. 


The MEC’s spokesperson, Lesiba Mpya, said the government, as the owner of the Gautrain system, wants the two parties to find a speedy resolution to the impasse.


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