Numsa rejects offer in bus strike

Johannesburg – Numsa rejected an offer by long-distance bus company Autopax on Wednesday afternoon, partly to avoid parallel negotiations outside the bargaining council.

“Autopax was telling us that, so far, they have sourced some funds somewhere else. We didn’t even want to entertain the issue of the money that they say they have. We rejected everything they were telling us. We believe that this discussion should take place at the right structures, not here,” said Norman Malume, Numsa’s regional infrastructure co-ordinator.

Earlier on Wednesday, bus drivers and mechanics gathered at various bus depots, waiting to be addressed on the way forward after unions announced a nationwide strike.

At Putco’s Main Reef depot, about 40 employees protested peacefully outside the depot. Malume came to address them about the scheduled meetings and asked them to protest peacefully.

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The group dispersed around 11:00, promising to return on Thursday morning.

Malume said: “Being in a parallel negotiation is selling the country. Employers know the structures where they need to go and settle to. If they are willing to settle, then they should influence other employers of their feeling,” said Malume.

He said the employers were trying to convince the union that if workers went back to work this afternoon, they would be willing to offer something better

“That something better is not needed by only Autopax workers, it is for every bus driver who is on strike now,” Malume.

Malume said Autopax management had requested a meeting with them earlier on Wednesday in Coronation, west of Johannesburg.

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An urgent meeting at the bargaining council was scheduled for 14:30.

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