Cosatu backs fired Gautrain drivers
Johannesburg - Cosatu Gauteng pledged its support to over 300 fired non-unionised Gautrain bus drivers on Thursday, blaming labour broking on their situation.
"We will be seeking an urgent meeting with the management of the company in an attempt to find a lasting solution to the impasse between them and the workers," provincial spokesperson Dumisani Dakile said.
"We are intervening to assist because issues that have been raised are genuine issues."
Their issues include wanting transport to work for very early shifts and broader medical aid cover.
The 300 were dismissed last week after the Bombela Concession Company, which manages the high-speed Gautrain and its bus network, got fed up with them going on strike.
They had once belonged to the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union, but chose to resign.
Although they did not fall under the umbrella of any Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), their case highlighted the perils of labour broking because nobody wanted to take responsibility for their issues.
Resolving their case would also be for the greater good of the transport sector and workers in general, Dakile said.
He said the Gautrain was a project of the Gauteng government, which outsourced it to Bombela, which in turn outsourced the bus service to Mega Express.
"Which clearly indicates the issue of labour brokers. Nobody wants to take up responsibility. They have been outsourced twice," he said.
Comment was not immediately available from either Bombela or a representative of the fired workers.
Cosatu is planning a national sector-wide stayaway on March 7 in protest against labour brokers, which it feels reduce full-time employees to casual workers, and against proposed toll fees in Gauteng.