Among the unions covered by the agreement are the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), Transport – Omnibus Workers Union (Towu), Togetherness Amalgamated Workers` Union of SA (Tawusa) and Tirisano Transport and Services Workers Union (Taswu). Bus and bus companies have reached a wage agreement with the unions to avoid a strike in the sector already hit hard by the Covid 19 pandemic. “On Thursday, we signed a 6% increase agreement. Some of these requests were dropped by the parties,” Said Wilson. We would have gone on strike the week of Easter if an agreement had not been reached. Gary Wilson, general secretary of the industry bargaining chamber, said on Monday, ahead of Business Day, that a one-year deal had been reached last Thursday. All workers will receive a 6% pay rise, which will take effect on April 1, he said. The parties must compromise by abandoning other demands that could have led to a strike during the Easter period, he said. Last week, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced industry rules for the 21-day closure to limit the spread of Covid-19, which has so far infected 1,280 people in SA. However, employers had submitted a proposal for a three-year employment contract, with the first group increasing by 6% in the first year and 5.5% in the second and third years. For the second group, employers had proposed a 4.5% increase for each of the three years. Unions, among others, had requested medical assistance in the industry. Wilson said: “On Wednesday, we consulted with all the unions and agreed to act responsibly and take into account the consequences of the closure on bus operations across the country, as well as the economic situation of businesses.” The unions had requested a one-year pay increase of 8.5% for employees with an hourly wage of between 56.30 and 78.82 R78.82 and 7.5% for employees over 78.82 R78.82 per hour.