PAY DEAL STRUCK
Full Gautrain service back on track after two-week strike ends
The Gautrain strike has ended, with operating company Bombela agreeing to give workers an 8% salary increase.
"The company has agreed to give our members an 8% increase‚ backdated to July 15‚" said Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) spokesperson Dennis George.
Full Gautrain services will resume on Wednesday after the two-week-long strike‚ according to Bombela.
"In the meantime‚ the reduced service that is currently operational will be further enhanced for [Tuesday] and communicated to passengers and the media over the course of today‚" said Gautrain spokesperson Kesagee Nayager.
"We thank our passengers for their patience and understanding during this time.
"We can also confirm that passengers who have been unable to utilise their weekly or monthly train products as a result of the strike will be compensated for unused trips and no administration fee will be applied," said Nayager.
In terms of the pay agreement‚ workers who earned less than R8‚500 a month would have their salaries brought up to R8‚500.
George said the agreement included an incentive bonus of R5‚000‚ which would be paid in December‚ and another bonus linked to key performance areas of the company. This would be paid out in July 2019.
There would be a housing allowance of R900, increased from R750 for the Gautrain workers. Pay increases would be backdated to July 15. "The company will continue to subsidise medical expenses and workers will get a R900 housing allowance," he said.
George said Fedusa members were happy with the offer.
Workers had initially demanded a 10% increase‚ a housing allowance of R1‚600‚ a R20‚000 unconditional bonus per employee‚ increases in nightshift allowances and a night-work transport subsidy. The strike started on July 30.
The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) intervened last week in negotiations between holding company Bombela and the United National Transport Union (Untu).
Gautrain’s employees were set to resume work as soon as they had received their schedules on Tuesday.
At the peak of the strike the limited bus and train services ran only during peak periods.
Untu spokesperson Sonja Carstens said with the help of Fedusa and the CCMA, the union had held meetings with the company on Sunday before reaching an agreement.
"We are very satisfied. This is the best we could do under the circumstances," she said.