Trade unions covered by the agreement include the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), the Transport and Omnibus Workers Union (Towu), the Togetherness Amalgamated Workers` Union of SA (Tawusa) and the Tirisano Transport and Services Union (Taswu). Bus and coach companies have reached a collective agreement with the unions to avoid a strike in the sector that has already been hit hard by the Covid 19 pandemic. Gary Wilson, secretary-general of the sector`s negotiating chamber, the SA Road Passenger Bargaining Council (Sarpbac), said on Monday Business Day that a one-year agreement was reached last Thursday. „On Thursday, we signed an agreement on a 6% increase on a broad front. Some claims have been abandoned by the parties,“ Wilson said. „We would be on strike during Easter week if no agreement had been reached.“ Agreements concluded under the auspices of SARPBAC apply and are bound to all other parties and/or persons to whom the application of a collective agreement concluded under the aegis of SARPBAC is extended in accordance with section 32 of the Act. Last week, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced rules for the sector as part of the 21-day lockdown to limit the spread of Covid-19, which has so far infected 1,280 people in South Africa. The unions had demanded a one-year wage increase of 8.5% for employees earning between R56.30 and R78.82 per hour, and 7.5% for those earning more than R78.82 per hour. All workers will receive a 6 percent wage increase, which will take effect on April 1, he said. The parties must compromise by dropping other demands that could possibly have provoked a strike during the Easter period, he said. The South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council, called SARPBAC, said: „On Wednesday we consulted all unions and agreed that we must act responsibly and take into account the impact of the lockdown on bus operations across the country and the economic situation in which businesses find themselves.“ However, the employers had submitted a proposal for a three-year wage contract in which the first group would have increased by 6% in the first year and by 5.5% in the second and third years. .
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