Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Metrobus and Rea Vaya Drivers on a Striking Spree

Are the Metrobus (City of Johannesburg) and Rea Vaya striking workers ill advised or fighting for the legitimate issues? I do not have all the facts but I am concerned about what I have read up to so far especially regarding the Metrobus. For those who do not know, Metrobus mainly operates in traditionally old white suburbs in Johannesburg while Rea Vaya operates from Soweto to the CBD. Both these services serves the poor and the middle class....people without cars or access to other bus services as PUTCO (Putco serves mainly black people and operates from Soweto/East Rand/West Rand to the Southern suburbs of Johannesburg). They are said to be independent but they are financed by the City of Johannesburg


I read that some Metrobus workers are are not happy with their new schedule as reported here whereby they will start working for eight hours. Currently the bus drivers are said to be working for six to seven hours claiming overtime for any extra hours worked. This is disturbing considering the following;

  • Metrobus does not fill in their seats all the times;
  • Metrobus only operates between 6 am and 6 pm while its competitors (Putco) operates longer hours;
  • Metrobus drivers probably earn more than taxi drivers and other bus drivers (the reason why Rea Vaya drivers are also on strike);
  • The bus drivers steals monies from the company;
  • No profit is made by Metrobus forcing rate-payers to foot the bill while not serving all communities;and
  • The service is poor and not reliable.

Even more worrying is the behavior of those drivers who are striking who intimidated those who wanted to work. Do they forget that they have passengers who are the reason they are working? Will they not be the ones crying unemployment when the passenger numbers decreases down further? 

Rea Vaya

The drivers are said to be demanding that they get employed by the Council, the same Council that employs the Metrobus. Could it be because that they know that the Metrobus drivers earn more that they do? I suspect this to be the case and whether the council will meet their demands or not is not something to predict. But there is one thing for sure that needs to happen....Rea Vaya and Metrobus should just get merged. There is no point in running the two separate services while being financed by the same Municipality. Its a waste of money.

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