The striking MyCiti workers today had their first meeting with the City of Cape Town and the Vehicle Operating Companies.
The strike by MyCiti bus project workers could be nearing its end after the workers had a meeting with the City of Cape Town, the vehicle operating companies (VOC) and political parties. The workers who belong to the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa have been on strike since the 15th of October with insourcing as their main demand.
The spokesperson for the striking workers, Sibongisile Mabindisa, said that yesterday’s meeting was the first time they sat down with the City and a representative from the employer companies. “As workers we were given an opportunity to be heard and to tell the City and the VOC our grievances. The City and the political parties that were at the meeting were surprised by the working conditions that we work under,” he said.
Mayoral Committee member for Transport and Urban Development (who resigned today from the Council and the Democratic Alliance), Brett Herron, refused to speak to the striking workers because they “were influenced by the Economic Freedom Fighters”. Speaking at a transport imbizo in Khayelitsha on Saturday, Herron told the striking workers – who used the platform to bring their struggle to the attention of Transport Minister, Blade Nzimande – that he refuses to negotiate with political parties on workers’ issues.
“At the meeting we had it was decided that no political party will take over from the workers or claim victory. All political parties will assume a neutral ground,” said NUMSA’s regional secretary, Vuyo Lufele.
“We made strides in that meeting; it was resolved that NUMSA will make a list of the issues and will hand over those to the people who deal with them,” added Lufele.
Other demands that the workers have made is that there has to be equal pay for those doing the same job. Mabindisa told Elitsha that today they will be meeting with the VOC to reverse the dismissals so that the workers can go back to work.
“We understand that the insourcing is a political process and we have been promised by the political parties that they will raise this issue and take it up at the next Council meeting taking place on Tuesday [6 November],” he said.
Meanwhile Brett Herron, the now-former Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, has been charged by his party following a report by law firm, Bowmans, on misconduct in the transport portfolio.