Putco to fire 1000 bus drivers who were protesting for better wages in illegal strike

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Published Sep 6, 2022


Pretoria - The Public Utility Transport Corporation (Putco) issued dismissal letters to over 1 000 employees on Tuesday after they embarked on an illegal strike.

The strike comes after the commuter transport company got an interdict last week to stop the workers from protesting and declare the strike illegal.

This is after bus company drivers have downed tools demanding a 6% salary increase and bonuses for 2020.

On Tuesday, some of the drivers ignored the interdict and protested outside various Putco offices in Soweto, Pretoria and Mpumalanga province.

Speaking to eNCA, Putco spokesperson Lindokuhle Xulu said the company will give the workers 24 hours to respond to the dismissal letters.

“After several times having issued notices to employees that they must go back to work, Putco now finds itself in a position where they have to dismiss the workers that embarked on an illegal strike.

“So this particular process unfolding is a notice of dismissal it’s not a finality, there’s still one more step to undertake, but essentially what it means is that until tomorrow, at a stipulated time in terms of those notices, workers will have to make a written presentation stating why they shouldn’t be dismissed and then the company will look into those reasons and then they will issue final termination notices to employees they feel need to be dismissed,” Xulu told the broadcaster.

Earlier, Xulu said Putco had applied for an exemption from the bargaining council from having to pay the 6% increases and bonuses, and had been granted the reprieve.

He said Putco had applied for the exemption as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, which had affected its financial sustainability.

However, the unions appealed this decision and were given an order for the company to pay 3% instead.

He said despite the 3% increase ruling, Putco had reserved the right to have the matter reviewed by the Labour Court for a final decision.