Putco says the 1000 workers who are involved in the unprotected strike will be dismissed.
Papi Morake, Gallo Images
- Putco employees have until Wednesday afternoon to make submissions about why they should not be fired for striking over back payments.
- Spokesperson Lindokuhle Xulu told TIF News that labour unions were informed by the company about its exemption application at the Bargaining Council.
- Employees are demanding 6% salary increases and bonuses from 2020.
Putco wants about 1 000 striking employees to motivate why it should not dismiss them.
This is amid demonstrations at Dobsonville and Roseville depots over salary increases and outstanding bonus payments.
Employees launched the strike action on Thursday, after which Putco engaged unions to find an amicable solution.
Spokesperson Lindokuhle Xulu told TIF News the company would review their responses on Wednesday afternoon.
Asked if the company was concerned about further delaying the resumption of services, should it dismiss employees, Xulu said it would hire from its pool of trainees and former employees who lost their jobs at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“There are about 700 drivers who were dismissed during the pandemic. Putco also has trainees who recently graduated from the traineeship. There is an excess for us to tap into for recruitment,” said Xulu.
Employees are demanding backpay of 6% salary increases and bonuses from 2020.
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However, they might not get these payouts as Putco applied for an exemption with the SA Road Passenger Bargaining Council (SARPBAC), citing the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The labour court is expected to make a ruling on whether or nor an annual bonus for 2020 should be paid and the wage increase should be applicable. Until the labour court ruling has been made, no bonus and no increase are owed to employees,” said Xulu.
He told TIF News that Putco informed labour unions of its application for exemption, and they, in turn, appealed against that application at the labour court.
“We can’t appeal or ask for a review without talking to the unions first. There are about five unions that represent Putco employees. Therefore, they are the ones that have the responsibility to answer to the workers,” said Xulu.
Attempts to get a response from the SA Federation of Trade Unions were unsuccessful.
Their response will be added once received.