Full support for striking bus drivers – COSATU

Federation encourages all workers and their unions to fearlessly fight for decent salary increases

COSATU supports the striking bus drivers

18 April 2018

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is fully behind the ongoing strike by bus drivers all across the country. We support SATAWU and other unions in their fight to ensure that workers get decent salary increases and that their working conditions are improved.

The unions have been very patient with the employers, since the negotiations began in January and we support the worker’s decision to ultimately withdraw their labour power. It is unfortunate that the intransigence and the unreasonable attitude of the employers will inconvenience thousands of workers and commuters and also impact negatively on the economy.

COSATU fully support the legitimate and fair demands of the unions and call on the employers to accede to these demands to avert a long and devastating strike. Workers are seeking a 12% across-the-board increase while employers are only offering 7. %.

Considering that we have seen a VAT increase, Fuel levy increase, Road Accident levy and are looking at another electricity tariff hike in the near future, we encourage all workers and their unions to fearlessly fight for decent salary increases during this round of wage negotiations. We also encourage many of our unions to sign single year agreements and if employers want multiyear agreement, they should be prepared to buy those at the negotiating table.

The employer's narrow and selfish approach to these negotiations is distressing because some of the carnage that we see on our roads is as a result of the terrible working conditions that workers are subjected to. We are calling on the Department of Transport to intervene and work to ensure that the bus companies that are beneficiaries of state subsidies take these negotiations seriously.

This strike is already putting a strain on our vulnerable and dysfunctional public transport system. We also call on the workers and communities in general to support the struggle for better working conditions and a living wage by bus passenger workers. Let us offer solidarity and bring to life the workers mantra that "An injury to one is an injury to all"

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 18 April 2018