The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has issued a warning about a potential strike in Gautrain, which could leave passengers stranded.
The strike threat arises from wage negotiations between Numsa and Gautrain management.
Numsa’s secretary-general, Irvin Jim, expressed the union’s preference for negotiations over strike action and called for a return to the negotiating table to resolve the dispute. However, if an agreement is not reached, strike action may become inevitable.
The dispute centers around several issues.
One key point is the potential abolition of staff cards, which currently allow workers to travel on the Gautrain for free when commuting to and from work.
Numsa opposes this decision, emphasizing that many members cannot afford the cost of using the Gautrain and that the staff cards have been a longstanding benefit since 2013.
Additionally, the company aims to eliminate housing allowances, which Numsa argues are crucial for workers to afford homes.
While Gautrain proposed incorporating the allowance into wages, Numsa members reject this proposal and insist on the reinstatement of the housing allowance.
Numsa has outlined its demands, which include an 8% basic salary increase, housing allowance increase, higher transport allowance, night shift allowance, medical aid contribution ratio, KPI bonus, job security, and the retention of current train ride privileges for employees.
The outcome of the wage negotiations will determine whether the strike takes place. Numsa urges Gautrain management to engage in negotiations to prevent the disruption of services.