The Easter long weekend might not be such a happy time for some people as the nationwide bus strike continues.
Bus drivers went on strike yesterday, leaving thousands of commuters stranded.
The strike is being led by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu).
The workers went on strike over salaries and working conditions. They are demanding a 15% wage increase, shorter shifts, and double pay on public holidays.
Drivers were offered a 9% increase but they rejected this. Negotiations came to a standstill because the workers and their employers could not reach an agreement.
The bus strike has badly affected people who rely on public transport. People may not be able to make their annual trip to Moria for the Zion Christian Church pilgrimage.
The Golden Arrow and MyCiti buses in Cape Town are not running. The Rea Vaya, Putco and Gautrain buses in Johannesburg are on strike too.
Long-distance bus services such as Autopax and Greyhound have also been suspended. Luckily, Intercape is still operating and all its trips will continue as planned.
People have taken to social media to express their frustrations.
Let's just cancel this year's Good Friday as a khantry because there's no buses for some to travel #busstrike
— Sphiwe Hobasi (@MrCow_man) April 13, 2017
#busstrike they should fire those bus drives coz they are playing with jobs some of us we need those job employment is rare.
— Amazing Woman (@HILDAH_MONA) April 13, 2017
— Piletji™Sebola (@PiletjiSebola) April 13, 2017
Numsa’s acting spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi, criticised the employers.
She said they were selfish and greedy because they did not care about workers or commuters. Especially since they are willing to plunge the transport industry into crisis just before the long Easter weekend.
“We are officially on strike. Our members are determined to ensure that the country knows of their plight,” said Hlubi.
With buses on strike, more people will be turning towards taxi drivers for other modes of transport.
Check out the video below to see the bus strike happening at Johannesburg Park Station.
Numsa will intensify the strike, which is going onto day two and remains unsolved.
(Featured Image: Carlos Muchave)
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