'No winners‚ only losers' after bus strike

Bus drivers who engaged in a national strike would have to work for up to year to recoup the month’s pay they lost because of the no-work-no-pay rule.

That was the view of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry‚ which on Tuesday described the bus strike as a “disaster” that left behind only losers and no winners.

“If the unions had accepted the employers initial offer of a 7% increase the workers would be better off than they are today‚” said Janine Myburgh‚ president of the chamber.

The unions settled for a 9% increase – but workers lost nearly a month’s pay because of the no-work-no-pay rule.

“It will take a year of higher wages to wipe out their losses and pay back the loans many of them needed to put food on the table for their families‚” said Myburgh. “They are worse off now than they were before the strike and a lot worse off than they would have been if they had accepted the initial seven percent offer and continued working and earning.”

Bus passengers were also hurt financially by having to pay higher travelling costs to get to work using alternative means of transport such as taxis. Employers were affected by higher absentee rates‚ workers arriving late and the knock on effect on production.

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