Cape Town – A breakdown in communication between employers and unions could see Golden Arrow bus drivers go on strike at midnight.

This, Golden Arrow’s human resources department warned, would bring the service to a standstill.

Meko Magida, human resources executive for Golden Arrow, referring to labour’s demand for an 18 percent increase in wages, said: “(The demands) are excessive and unrealistic…”

However, Antonio Franks, general secretary for the Transport and Omnibus Workers Union (Towu), called Magida’s statement “disingenuous”. He said that he had been mandated by his members, over 1 600 employees of Golden Arrow, to accept a Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) proposal that was tabled last week. The proposal is for, among other things, a 9 percent pay hike. Thursday is the last day for both employers and unions to respond to the proposal.

Assaria Mataboge, national sector co-ordinator for the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), said that the union would today source final comments from its Western Cape branch and the 600 Golden Arrow employees which it represents.

”I must, however, add, the fact that Golden Arrow is pre-empting a strike on Friday is for us an indication that the employers have written off the CCMA’s offer. They have not been negotiating in good faith,” said Mataboge.

Source: iol news – Daneel knoetze