Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant has announced that the bus strike is now over as the majority of unions reached an agreement.
Speaking on Friday Afternoon, the minister said she is pleased that three unions including the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and two others have signed agreement.
The minister further noted that she has been making moves to plead with the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) to end the Bus strike but until now, the union still has to reach an agreement.
That, however, does not prevent the Bus strike from being called off as majority of the trade union have collectively agreed to call of the strike in line with the constitution of the Bargaining Council.
“Workers are on standby and ready to get the buses moving again,” she said at a briefing.
Numsa emphasized early this morning, that it has not signed agreements with any employers in the bus passenger sector. The union said it only negotiate through the Bargaining Council.
“We wish to re-iterate that it is Numsa’s policy that only the general secretary can sign agreements on behalf of the union,” it said in a statement.
“However, we look forward to our engagement with the Minister of Labour and the employers today. We hope for a speedy resolution to the dispute.”
The union, indicated that many South Africans who use public transport bought tickets this week for the Easter holidays but were not able to travel due to the strike action.
COSATU contended that bus companies ought not to have accepted payments for tickets because they “had no reasonable intention of supplying (the services) and this was foreseeable as they were engaged in tense wage negotiations.”
Based on this, the union said: “For all bus companies to reimburse all passengers and commuters, who have bought their tickets for the duration of the strike, including those that were planning to use buses to visit their families and friends over the Easter Holiday Weekend. These passengers will now be left stranded because of the nationwide strike in the passenger bus sector.”
It however, reiterated its full support for the strike action affirming that the demands of the workers are legitimate and fair. COSATU urged the employers to accede to the demands and end the bus sector strike.