Putco dismisses 105 workers as wildcat strike continues

Putco on Thursday dismissed 105 workers for taking part in an unprotected weeklong strike and cautioned that more jobs could be on the line if the workers continue to defy the court interdict.

The workers union and Putco management failed again to reach an agreement on salary increases this week. The workers demand a 6% pay hike and bonuses backdated to 2020, but the company says it cannot afford their demand.

Irvin Jim, the general secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) visited Putco offices on Wednesday, but his visit failed to yield positive results.

In the meantime, Numsa has called to the national Department of Transport to stop subsidising the bus company until the workers demands have been met.

The management of Putco has provoked workers into embarking on a work stoppage. Their greed is fuelling the labour dispute. We demand that Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula withdraws the subsidy until Putco pays up,” said Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola.

Meanwhile, Putco has appealed for Numsa members to act responsibly.

“Putco cannot afford the 6% increase and bonuses being demanded by its employees because of its financial position,” said Putco spokesperson Lindokuhle Xulu.

“Putco employees are amongst the most highly paid in the transport industry. We remain committed to finding solutions on the matter and continue to welcome any constructive and dignified discussions to resolve the matter, but cannot tolerate acts of intimidation.”

He further assured passengers that they would get discounts on their next purchases.

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Coceka Magubeni

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