Putco commuters urged to continue seeking alternative modes of transport on Monday

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Putco commuters have been urged to continue seeking alternative modes of transport on Monday.

The bus service has failed to resume operations as striking workers barricaded the main depot in Dobsonville, Soweto on Monday morning.

Last week, the company fired 105 employees for taking part in an illegal strike action.

The workers have embarked on an unprotected strike action over unpaid bonuses and wage increases.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) held talks with company management on Sunday to try resolve workers’ grievances.

Numsa Spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says a proposal was put on the table during the talks and has been taken to workers for their feedback that could possible end the strike.

Hlubi-Majola says, “The Numsa organiser, comrade Frederick who has been assisting with these talks has been moving from depot to depot. As I speak now, he’s been presenting the proposal to workers at Rochaville which is one of the depots, and then from there, he will come here to Dobsonville where he will present the same proposal in order to give members an opportunity to decide whether they accept the proposal that’s on the table. If that’s good enough for them, then offcourse we can see an end to this strike.”

VIDEO: On Thursday, a handful of Putco workers continue with their demonstration outside the bus service’s main depot in Soweto:

On Thursday, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) National Spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the Public Utility Transport Corporation (Putco) should not fire their employees who participated on a strike to raise legitimate concerns.

Pamla says as much as they do not condone any illegal strikes, the employers are also failing to keep their end of the bargain.

He says, “What we are urging Putco to do, is to give these workers another chance. If you look at the issues they are raising, they are legitimate and fair. Some of these issues go back to 2020 and they should have been addressed a long time ago. If the employer ignores the calls of workers, we urge the employer to sit down with workers in order to find a solution – but I’m also saying the issues they are raising are not unreasonable and the fact that they have been ignored means someone else is breaking the rules. So, employers themselves are failing to keep their end of the bargain by failing to pay the workers what is due to them. If we are going to blame the victims in a situation where they’ve been victimised, that’s not fair.”

In the video below, about 1 000 Putco workers served with letters of dismissal: