Johannesburg Metrobus services resumed on Friday, relieving hundreds of commuters stranded during disruptions on Wednesday and Thursday. As per TimesLIVE, City of Johannesburg transport MMC Kenny Kunene expressed dissatisfaction, viewing the workers’ actions as disrespectful to city residents. One of the key demands from the striking employees was the reinstatement of some dismissed colleagues accused of theft from Metrobus without a labour court or bargaining council ruling.
“The mandate I have been given by the citizens of the city through their votes is to perform and implement service delivery and to do oversight on officials who are responsible for executing this. Should these officials fail, I am obligated to act and will do so without fear or favour,” said Kunene. City roads and transport spokesperson Geralda Winkler confirmed on Friday that the drivers were back at work until late Thursday after engaging with management.
“I can confirm the bus drivers are back on the roads. They have minimised their demands,” she said. Metrobus employees have reduced their demands from 19 to seven. “The demands are seven, and they concluded with the executive to go back on the roads while the demands are being looked at,” Winkler noted that some demands needed to be addressed from a human resources perspective. She emphasised that the strike was unreasonable and illegal. Still, management concluded with labour that drivers would return to work while labour issues were being addressed.
South African Municipal Workers Union deputy regional chairperson Lebogang Ndawo clarified that the disruptions were not a strike but members demanding to meet management due to unattended grievances. “Unfortunately, it overlapped into Wednesday and Thursday. We had a meeting on Thursday evening with the employer. The condition of the workers was that if the employer didn’t want to talk to them, we would speak to them ourselves,” he explained. After a marathon meeting on Thursday, management was expected to provide feedback to employees on their list of demands, which included issues with shifts and unpaid allowances for private trips.
“There are packages they must get, and they were not being paid for the packages.” Workers insisted that management address them directly about their grievances and not through the union, added Ndawo.
Picture: X / jozifm
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