The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) National Spokesperson Sizwe Pamla says the Public Utility Transport Corporation (Putco) should not fire their employees who participated on a strike to raise legitimate concerns.
This follows Putco’s confirmation that at least 1000 workers face dismissal for participating in what the bus company calls an illegal strike, last week.
The bus drivers have been striking for the past six days demanding a 6% wage increase.
The strike disrupted operations for commuters in Soweto and Pretoria, forcing them to make alternative transportation plans.
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.”
VIDEO: About 1 000 Putco workers served with letters of dismissal: