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Bus drivers will be back at work next week after an agreement was reached between the union and management regarding the shift system.
THE five-week strike by Metrobus drivers is over. This comes after management and drivers reached an agreement to continue with the new shift schedule that was implemented in December last year.


Metrobus drivers will be back at work Metrobus drivers will be back at workStriking drivers will return to work on 22 March after selecting their shifts in terms of length of service.

“We are pleased to inform the public and our passengers that [the South African Municipal Workers’ Union] Samwu has accepted the new shift implemented by the company,” said Metrobus’s managing director, Herman van Laar.

After intensive talks, Samwu and Metrobus agreed yesterday to form a task team that will be made up of representatives from organised labour and management. The task team will in future look into the new shift system and advise management on implementation.

“The introduction of the new shift system is aimed at improving the efficiency of services and to position Metrobus as part of an effective public transport system,” said Van Laar.

The strike had cost the company R10-million, he said, and another R2,5-million to manage it. They were also still considering the best possible mechanisms to refund passengers in possession of tags not used.

However, only passengers with tags would be allowed to board the bus free for two days, on 22 and 23 March.

Van Laar said there were no plans to adjust fares to make up for the lost time. “We believe that we will generate substantial savings on the new shift system in the long run.”

He expressed hope that in the future they would be able to solve matters internally.

“We extend our deepest apologies to all our commuters for the inconvenience they experienced and wish to thank them for their patience and ongoing support and loyalty.”

Drivers affiliated to Samwu went on strike on 9 February as a result of dissatisfaction by some bus drivers over the new shifts schedule. Shifts were restructured to allow for an eight-hour working shift instead of the six or seven hours operated previously.

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