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South Africa's high-speed train workers end two-week strike
JOHANNESBURG, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Workers at South Africa's
high-speed train service that mainly caters for business
commuters ended a two-week strike over pay on Monday after
reaching a 12-month agreement with their employer, and promised
to resume work by Tuesday.
The Bombela Operating Company, which operates the rapid
train and bus system in Gauteng province with services to the
country's main airport, the capital Pretoria and commercial hub
Johannesburg, had reduced train operations due to the strike.
The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and the
United National Transport Union (UNTU) said their members had
agreed to an 8 percent wage increase across the board.
The UNTU, an affiliate of FEDUSA, represents about 90
percent of the workers at Bombela, in which construction company
Murray & Roberts holds a 50 percent stake.
FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George said the union and
Bombela had agreed in talks facilitated by the Commission for
Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, to lower the original
demand of 10 percent by the workers due to inflation.
South Africa's inflation quickened to 4.6 percent
year-on-year in June from 4.4 percent in May.
Some workers are expected to commence work this afternoon
with the rest starting tomorrow, George said.
"We are in the process of finalising the agreement as we
were given a clear mandate to sign from the constituency after
addressing them this morning," UNTU General Secretary Steve
Harris said, referring to the union's members.
The workers began their strike on July 30, demanding a 10
percent increase in wages, while Bombela offered an 8.5
The company and union however agreed to a lower wage
agreement of 8 percent to accommodate other union demands,
including a 900 rand ($63) housing allowance and a 50 percent
contribution by Bombela to workers' medical aid.
($1 = 14.2960 rand)
(Reporting by Patricia Aruo
Editing by James Macharia)
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