Bus Company Putco says its decision to apply for exclusion from the recently signed salary agreement is due to its current financial constraints.

Putco and four other bus companies have applied for exemption from paying the wage increases contained in the agreement.

In May, workers in the bus sector embarked on a protracted strike.

They were demanding a 9% and 8% salary increases for 2018 and 2019 respectively.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) has lashed out at the bus companies for their decision, saying it undermines collective bargaining.

Labour law allows companies to apply for exemption from bargaining agreements.

Putco spokesperson Vuyo Ondala says, “We are requesting to be exempted from implementing what we call a 80 B across the board increase of 9% which was agreed [upon] earlier this year [2018]. We are also asking the Bargaining council to allow us to delay the implementation of an increased hourly rate. And again I must reiterate it is nothing foreign. It is something that has been done and the reasons behind it we find ourselves in an environment that does not allow us to fulfill those agreements.”