Public transport the link between working conditions and service delivery
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Public Transport : The link between working conditions and service delivery. Jane Barrett (Satawu) at the CitiesNetwork seminar on Sustainable Public Transport, Cape Town, 14&15 August 2008. The issues that create the link?. Long hours and fatigue Low pay Job insecurity Limited benefits

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Public transport the link between working conditions and service delivery

Public Transport : The link between working conditions and service delivery

Jane Barrett (Satawu) at the

CitiesNetwork seminar on Sustainable Public Transport, Cape Town, 14&15 August 2008


The issues that create the link

The issues that create the link?

  • Long hours and fatigue

  • Low pay

  • Job insecurity

  • Limited benefits

  • Poor health

  • Minimal law enforcement

  • Corruption

  • Stress

  • Workers under these conditions cannot deliver a good service!


Who are our transport workers labour force survey sept 05

Who are our transport workers?Labour Force Survey Sept 05

  • 616,000 total in transport i.e. 5% of workforce with a gender ratio of 5:1 male to female

  • 34,000 in bus industry, 160,000 taxi, and 8,000 Metrorail

  • 295,000 earn R2500 pm or less and 197,000 earn between R2501 and R8000 pm

  • ½ permanent rest are temporary, casual & fixed term

  • Nearly ½ have no UIF deductions

  • 1/3 have no written contract

  • One third unionised


Long hours

Long hours

  • Commuter bus drivers – 14 hour spreadover BUT in some cases as high as 17 and a half

  • Long distance bus drivers – some companies still operating with 1 driver, others pay only for driving time

  • Taxi drivers – 48 hour week and max 15 hours overtime

  • These are max legislated, but enforcement is extremely poor


Low pay and limited benefits

Low Pay and limited benefits

  • Taxi drivers : R1700 pm or R8.24 ph

  • Bus drivers : drivers R13.99 ph driver/conductors R21.40 ph

  • Metrorail : general worker R3600 pm, drivers R11,000

  • 2/3 all transport workers have no medical cover

  • No provident fund for taxi workers


Job insecurity

Job insecurity

  • Half all transport workers temporary, casual or fixed term

  • Fixed contracts and competitive tendering for subsidised bus services

  • Taxi workers most vulnerable to unfair dismissal

  • Workers in small bus companies also particularly vulnerable


Poor health

Poor health

  • Fast food, little physical exercise, short on sleep, time away from home

  • Diabetes

  • Eye conditions

  • High blood pressure

  • Muscular skeletal problems

  • HIV/AIDS


Law enforcement and corruption

Law enforcement and corruption

  • WRT employment conditions DOL inspectors don’t operate “on the road” and provincial traffic officers have limited authority concerning working conditions

  • Some improvements in overloading control

  • Limited improvement in vehicle roadworthiness inspection and control, but continued corruption

  • Evidence of ongoing taxi permit corruption


Stress

Stress

  • Pressures of meeting targets – passengers, time etc

  • Conflicting responsibilities e.g. taxi or bus driver has passengers, money and road

  • Irate passengers

  • Train drivers and suicides on the track

  • Worries about money, family, health

  • Job insecurity

  • Conflicts within and between modes


Conclusion let s look after our transport workers

Conclusion :Let’s look after our transport workers

  • To improve conditions of work and service will improve. We need :-

  • Better conditions and reduced hours

  • Tighter regulation and law enforcement on all fronts

  • Radically expanded public transport frequency and availability – to be achieved through economies of scale

  • A move away from the obsession with competition

  • Above all, integrated planning of sustainable public transport, where passenger needs are put first


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