NUMSA fully backs intercape bus drivers strike

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) in the Western Cape (WC) fully backs Intercape bus drivers’ strike that started earlier this morning, Tuesday 04 August 2015, which is causing major delays for commuters travelling from Western Cape to far-flung areas across the country.
Intercape’s drivers belonging to Numsa decided to embark on a strike action in solidarity with the dismissed Hostesses by the greedy Intercape management. The strike by drivers is a genuine and a living expression of workers battle cry “an injury to one; an injury to all”.
Currently drivers are seized with a heavy burden and expected to carry-out duties that were performed by Hostesses, whilst at the same time are expected to discharge their usual duties of driving long-hours transporting commuters to their respective destinations in major towns and cities of our country.
These added and unpaid responsibilities are not in the best interest of commuters, since their pose a safety risk on our public roads. Already South Africa has a horrific and highest number of road fatalities compared to other developing countries in the world.
Numsa demands the immediate re-instatement of all the dismissed Hostesses, including Intercape resolving all the grievances raised by drivers. Any failure by Intercape to heed our call we will call for a mass public boycott of Intercape buses.
The grievances include:

  • Drivers must buy their own padlocks for trailers;
  • Drivers must fix buses when broken down; failure by the driver to fix the bus, all costs paid to the mechanic will be deducted from a drivers salary; AND
  • All drivers must be hired by Intercape, not through a Labour Broker – Munashe;

The union had explored all avenues to avert the strike, unfortunately due to big-headedness and sheer arrogance by Intercape’s management a deal or settlement could not be brokered to end the impasse.
The union has opted to embark on a strike action, based on a democratic and worker-controlled mandate from below, as a tactical and organisational strategy to force Intercape to concede to the demands of workers.
We are currently satisfied with the manner in which the strike is unfolding, and we call other workers not on strike, to unite and join the strike since these demands are going to benefit all workers, irrespective of one’s union logo’s or t-shirts colours.
We call on Intercape commuters and the general public at large to pledge their support to the demands of workers. These bus drivers, including Hostesses are bread-winners and responsible for taking care of the large army of the unemployed that is ravaged by poverty and squalor in our Townships, informal settlements and rural slums.
Vuyo Lufele
Western Cape Regional Secretary
Mobile: +2778 511 3043
Likhona Cita
Western Cape Aviation/Passenger Coordinator
Mobile: +2773 786 8936