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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Putco bus strike ends after employees accept wage offer

Putco said the dismissal of the 105 employees for misconduct during the unprotected strike in September 2022 will stand.

Putco buses will be on the road again after employees accepted a wage offer and are expected to resume their duties following a 13-day unprotected strike.

Putco bus drivers parked their vehicles and started an illegal wildcat strike due to wage and bonus disputes.

Workers demanded a 6% wage increase and back pay for bonuses since 2020, but Putco applied for a partial exemption and offered the drivers a 3% increase instead.

Putco Offer to End Strike

The bus company said through a CCMA facilitated section 150 process, marathon meetings were held over the past three days between Putco and labour unions to find a solution to the impasse.

Putco said it will implement a 6% wage increase on 1 October 2022 for all employees who were in service of Putco on 1 April 2020 and who are still in service at the conclusion of this agreement.

ALSO READ: Putco dismisses 105 workers after illegal protest action

“The wage increase will not be backdated and will not be applicable to employees who have already received the 6% increase as part of their wage adjustment in 2021 to comply with the South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council (SARPABC) minimums.”

Putco said the annual bonus for 2020 will be paid to all employees who qualified in terms of the SARPBAC 2020 Main Collective Agreement.

“The bonus will be paid over a period of 18 consecutive months commencing at the end of October 2022.”

“A once-off amount of R5,000 (five thousand rand) per employee will be paid in two instalments at the end November 2022 and February 2023 in lieu of back pay for employees who were in service of the company on 1 April 2020,” Putco said.

Dismissed Employees

Putco said the dismissal of the 105 employees for misconduct during the unprotected strike in September 2022 will stand.

“However, these individuals will have the opportunity to lodge an internal appeal by no later than Friday 16 September 2022, should they elect to do so and union officials are allowed to represent their members.”

Labour Court Action

The bus company has commended the efforts of the CCMA commissioners who undertook the task of facilitating negotiations between the parties to find common ground.

“This agreement applied to employees inside the bargaining unit. All employees currently participating in the unprotected strike will cease the strike action and resume their normal duties.”

“The company will now withdraw the application at the Labour Court to review the decision of the last Exemption Appeal Authority,” Putco said.

Putco added that each of the five participating unions have agreed to sign a written undertaking that no member will participate in any unprotected strike action and that the prescribed dispute settlement procedures provided for in law and collective agreements will be followed to resolve any dispute.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) said they have signed the settlement agreement.

“Workers will resume their duties as of today,” Numsa said.

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