Last ditch talk, the bullet train to OR Tambo International Airport and other parts of Gauteng might leave more than a thousand Gauteng citizens stranded next week due to a deadlock in wage negotiations between the Bombela Operating Company (BOC) and United National Transport Union (UNTU).
According to Gautrain spokesperson Kesagee Nayager, the dispute has been taken to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) which is scheduled to meet on the 11 July 2016.
“BOC is disappointed that UNTU has decided to refer this matter to the CCMA in spite of BOC being open to continue negotiations with the UNTU should it decide to return to the negotiations table,” said Nayager.
Steve Harris, the union spokesperson claims that Bombela has not been in communication with it regarding a resolution to this issue.
“The company has made no effort to contact us to try and resolve this matter,” said Harris.
UNTU’s opening demand was 15 per cent for the increases in the cost of fuel that was exasperated by the fuel levy implemented by the government, the electricity cost, medical expenses, transport costs etc, however on the day that it deadlocked its demand had dropped to 9 per cent.
BOC’s latest proposal to the union was a 7.5 per cent wage increase; it further confirms that the company has always offered increases that are on average, competitive and above industry norm.
“Should we not reach an agreement, the members will decide if they wish to participate in a legal strike and the duration of the strike will depend on the constituents and how soon management will be prepared to resolve the impasse,” said Harris.
BOC failed to reply to what measures it will implement to ensure minimal disruption to its services should the strike ensue.