Cosatu backs fired Gautrain drivers

2012-02-09 17:47

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.

  • Ben - 2012-02-09 18:03

    All these work-related problems in S.A. leave the impression that people are not keen to work. The fact that unions play such a large role confirms this.

  • Shirley - 2012-02-09 18:11

    What is it with these unions-they want,want,want but dont give a damned thing in return! When there is no employment they bit@h,when there is they want more!!!

  • Deon - 2012-02-09 18:23

    It is time Cosatu also gets a bloody nose - they are to a large extent responsible for the uncompetitive nature of our work force leading to disinvestment and a loss of jobs. Aparently they cannot keep their noses out of other people's business as well. The bus-drivers do not have valid issues and as a frequent user have cost me a lot on money since I had to use my car to get to work

  • Lunga Mahlaba - 2012-02-09 18:32

    The Unions should just seat down, they are causing unemployment then employment.

  • Lunga Mahlaba - 2012-02-09 18:34

    Unions seat down please, you not doing anyone justice

  • Ruan Pretorius - 2012-02-09 18:42

    Blah, blah, blah... Every second week these bus drivers go on a unprotected strike and every time the Gautrain people give in to their demands. This time they got fed up and per the Labour Law terminated the services of the drivers for striking illegally. Unfortunately, with high unemployment there will be 3 other people willing to do the job at hand for every driver fired for their actions. It is unfortunate, but if the employers operate within the law and the employees outside, they must be prepared to face the consequences

  • Donovan-John - 2012-02-09 18:45

    The way I understand it is that unions are motivated by their own aims - increase the number of union members, increase the funds from these members. They bargain for higher wages and want more employment at the same time. Where there is an over-abundance of unskilled labour, this does not make economic sense. Unions know of this dilemma but chose to overlook it! Overly rigid labour laws and unions are largely for unemployment in this country!

  • Sean - 2012-02-09 18:45

    This is South Africa, it was only an amount of time before all this was to start happening....... what can I say? Don't park your cars in the garages quite yet! Watch, next vandalism will be the in thing!! So predictable........!

  • Sean - 2012-02-09 18:47

    No work - no pay! :-)

  • Aveen Mahabal - 2012-02-09 19:14

    300 workers this year. What if such workers were not so selfish and always ask for increases of 10%, why not employ 10% more. So that next year there are 330 workers. COSATU with its strikes are F'king with RSA.

  • Elmarie - 2012-02-09 19:22

    Ok so according to COSATU the labour broker here is the issue because they fired their staff for illegal striking. As far as I know, if you do something illegal, labour broker or not, then you get fired...DUH. This country has some seriously screwed up ideas if they think that people should be paid not to work...

  • nthabiseng.priklopil - 2012-02-09 20:18

    Good citizens, true poeople need employment but not to be ill treated. Do unto others as ye would like others do unto you. Probably most of you here earn fat cheque salaries while most of your time is spent googling. The thing is that we South African's are spoilt and we do not even realise. Take Europe for instance. Labour is hihgly unionised. Europeans do not have a luxury of stores open after 18:00 and no packer at till. You pack your groceries. Till workers are earning far beyond that what our teachers and nurses earn. No luxury of having a helper. The madam washes her own dirt and cook. We are part of the global community hence we must move toward the fair employment trend. Lunga, what can I say, EMPTY SHELL.

      Lunga Mahlaba - 2012-02-09 23:34

      my man nstebang, you not understanding me fully im not anti union, and i understand that we are a global village, but please who are they helping really not the people, coz if u practical about it - u fully employ lets say all of them how are u gona continue to be competitive in the globalized world, u start losing money because u have increased your expenditure, the company losses its edge hence company closes as it cannot compete, leading back to the job losses.

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