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Striking MyCiti bus drivers axed

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Myciti bus operating company Kidrogen has dismissed 40% of its employees who were part of an unprotected strike following their failure to attend disciplinary hearings.

There is still no relief for MyCiti bus commuters as some routes remain closed and many others are overcrowded with commuters desperate to get to work.

Torched buses and a strike in its sixth week, have left the bus service operating at 85-percent of its total capacity.

Workers are demanding to be insourced by the City of Cape Town.

In a statement, the City has backed the four vehicle operating companies that hire workers. It was said they were well within their rights to dismiss those on strike.

The City also said insourcing is not an option, but workers refuse to budge or return to work until their demands are met.

However, there may be nothing left to go back to.

Striking employees received an ultimatum from Kidrogen which stated that workers should return to work and should they fail to do so, they would be dismissed immediately. Several employees returned to work, while the rest did not.

The company’s spokesperson Leah Eckles said those who reported to work received written warnings following due process in terms of the labour relations act.

“On November 13 a final total of 40% of our drivers had either returned for one day or not returned at all. These employees were issued with a notice to attend a disciplinary inquiry,”  she stated.

She further stated the company had no choice but to dismiss several drivers due to failure to follow protocol.

“Subsequently, the entire 40% of drivers were summarily dismissed as of November 16, due to the fact that not a single driver made the effort to attend their hearing to defend themselves,” she said.

Eckles said they had managed to get their operations fully running by making use of all available resources.

Mayco member for Transport and Urban Development Felicity Purchase said the Vehicle Operating companies (VOCs) and the station management contractor were in the process of recruiting new staff.

In its attempt to have the service fully restored, the City had turned to the SA Road Passenger Bargaining Council’s (SARPBAC’s) National Bargaining Forum to intervene in the dispute between the employees and their employers.


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