Wage negotiations between Gautrain operator Bombela Operating Company (BOC) and trade union, the United National Transport Union (UNTU) have reached a deadlock and, owing to this, UNTU-affiliated workers have embarked on a “no work, no pay” strike from Monday.
BOC offered an 8.5% increase in salaries and all benefits and an increased minimum wage for operational staff to R8 500; however, this offer was rejected by UNTU.
Gautrain spokesperson Kesagee Nayager pointed out that a contingency plan to operate a reduced service, starting at 05:45 on Monday, is currently in place. Additional security measures will also be implemented on the Gautrain system.
The reduced service will comprise a peak period train service between 05:45 and 09:00 and between 16:00 and 19:00, between the Centurion and Sandton stations every 12 minutes, and between the Sandton and Park stations every 20 minutes.
No train service will be available during the off-peak period and only the Centurion, Sandton and Park stations will be open. All trains will be eight-car trains and will run in both directions, north- and southbound.
Buses will service only Centurion, Sandton and Park stations for the above peak periods and follow the usual bus routes.
To accommodate airport and Rhodesfield passengers, BOC will operate a bus service between Sandton and Rhodesfield stations and a bus or midi-bus service between the Rhodesfield and OR Tambo stations.
This service will operate from 05:45 and 19:00, with a fixed fare of R21 per bus trip applied for this service.
Ticket offices at all stations will be closed. BOC encouraged passengers to instead use the ticket vending machines or to load value on the Gautrain website or App.
Passengers with monthly or weekly train products that are affected will be refunded for lost trips and details will be provided later, the operator said, warning that passengers can expect extended journey times on some trips.
“While we respect our worker’s right to strike, striking workers must equally respect that their colleagues also have a right to work without intimidation. We will not condone intimidation or other criminal acts that result in damage to assets or that prevent workers from working,” the operator said.