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COSATU Today  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU announces Metrorail strike action

24 November 2011

COSATU will be going out on strike on the 6th December 2011 against Metrorail and the declining service standards on the trains. COSATU has finalized plans for the protest action which will be held on the 6th December 2011 between 13h30 - 15h30 at Metro rail offices on the Foreshore.

All COSATU members and supporters will be coming to raise their concerns about the declining public transport system from the Cape Flats and Southern Suburbs. The workers directly from Metrorail and Golden Arrow will not participate in strike as transport has they have to transport other workers to and from the protest, because both companies and workers stand to gain from an improved transport system.

Arrangements will be made at company level for workers to participate in the protest. This means that in some instances workers will work in the time lost and in other instances companies will contribute to make up lost wages.

The protest will focus on both Metro Rail and the City of Cape Town’s inability to provide proper transport.

The detail demands and process that have unfolded are listed below:

  1. Having split starting times for workers, to spread the peak over a longer period in the morning. Each workplace will work out a roster to get there staff to travel at different times, reduced ticket cost will serve as an incentive for later trips.
  2. Having school kids take different trains at later times, to spread the peak and encourage this by lower priced tickets. The train sets that were cut from weekends and late nights will be reinstated to provide a 24 hour service to commuters.
  3. Having busses take commuters out of the system where there is presently chronic overcrowding and transporting them directly to Industrial centres. Metro rail busses can be used for these purposes. The city and province must be brought into this discussion so the required permits can be fast tracked.
  4. The communities must report any instances of cable theft that leads to stopping the service immediately and we will jointly promote a toll free number.
  5. To get greater buy in from commuters. The pilot that is running in Cape Town where senior citizens get free train rides every 2nd Tuesday of the month will be extended to once a week on a Tuesday. This applies only to off peak trains.
  6. The station platforms will be expanded in the southern suburbs line so train sets with 14 carriages can work this route, as this will dramatically reduce the overcrowding.
  7. The union will define more flexible working hours with the company to improve the service levels, which may include the employment of additional staff. This would also support the PRASA 90 day programme.
  8. The number of sets that are away for repairs at contractors will be fast tracked by extended working hours over the December break, to get the repairs concluded before the New Year.
  9. The building of a new line that stretches from Strand to Muizenberg, linking all the lines, will give commuters much greater flexibility and will reduce the number of commuters travelling in the same direction at the same times. It will also link historically divided communities, whilst bringing greater efficiencies to the system.

For further comments please contact COSATU W Cape Provincial Secretary, Tony Ehrenreich, @ 0827733194