LABOUR: Business Concern About Strike
Recent Western Cape Business News
THE Cape Chamber of Commerce says it has complained to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) rejecting plans to halt the Metrorail service during next week’s threatened strike as well as the sale of monthly tickets for May.
“We understand that the strike action will make it difficult for Metrorail to provide an adequate service, but Metrorail cannot abdicate its responsibility and halt the service for the duration of the strike,” said Mr Albert Schuitmaker, Acting Director of the Chamber.
In the letter to PRASA CEO, Mr Lucky Montana, he said it was essential to provide the best possible service under the circumstances, as Metrorail had successfully done over the years, when capacity was limited by strike action or other causes.
“Thousands of commuters cannot be left stranded because it is easier for Metrorail to suspend its service. These commuters cannot be expected to incur additional costs as they are forced to find alternate modes of transport. The City and Business cannot afford the cost of the inevitable congestion on the roads and the resulting loss of productivity throughout the regional economy.
“The Chamber believes that Metrorail and PRASA should do everything in their power around the negotiation table to find an acceptable solution which will end the threat of strike action,” Mr Schuitmaker said.
Turning to monthly tickets, he said the Chamber could not understand how Metrorail could unilaterally suspend the issuing of monthly tickets, because it might not operate a service for a period of time during the month of May.
“Metrorail cannot predict the extent and duration of the strike, and, in a completely defeatist manner, resign itself to an extended period of strike action.”
He pointed out that it was more expensive to travel using weekly or daily tickets and commuters would incur extra costs while Metrorail would receive more income per trip.
“The Chamber urges Metrorail to reinstate the monthly tickets for May 2010 and leave it to the commuters to make the decision whether to buy monthly tickets in view of the impending strike action.”
Metrorail should provide the best possible service during the period of strike action. “It is unacceptable for management to take the easy way out by adopting a course of action which may be convenient for managers but onerous, expensive and counter-productive for the workers of the City and the companies which employ them,” the Chamber said.
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