The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has called on Transport Minister Blade Nzimande to urgently intervene in the current wage impasse between the United National Transport Union (UNTU) an affiliate of FEDUSA in the passenger rail sector – and the Bombela Concessionaire or Operating Company (BOC), the management company and operators of the Gauteng Province commuter train commonly known as Gautrain.
“We appeal to Minister Nzimande to persuade all parties to the Gautrain crisis to move beyond positional bargaining and try to find a mutually beneficial middle ground in the best interest of their respective constituencies and in search of a speedy resolution to this wage dispute,” said FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George.
“The deliberate public misrepresentation of UNTU’s demands and position by the Bombela Concessionaire – such as claiming that the union is demanding a wage increase of 19%, when in fact they are demanding 10; and falsely accusing them of intimidating other employees and preventing Gautrain buses - cannot be accepted as it is only leading to the hardening of attitudes and delaying the resolution the dispute”.
UNTU General Secretary Steve Harris said the Bombela Concessionaire had not made any serious attempts or efforts to resolve the dispute since the weekend.
“It must be the arrogance of the French Concessionaire to whom BOC profits are paid or the several French managers of BOC headed by its Chief Executive Officer Arnaud Legrand but the company have not attempted to resolve the deadlock in wage negotiations since Saturday, 28 July 2018. According to a so-called secret contract with French Concessionaire, Bombela Concessionaire will receive all the profits from Gautrain for 15 years cannot disclose its financial statements,” said Harris.
“By refusing to do so, BOC and its French Concessionaire are ignoring the terms of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) Section 16 which prescribes that employers have a duty to disclose any information including financial statements to trade union representatives which will allow them to carry out their trade union duties and bargain effectively”.