Bus companies make U-turn on salary increases

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Many commuters were left stranded on Wednesday as hundreds of bus drivers embarked on nationwide strike demanding better wages.

JOHANNESBURG - A number of bus companies have made a U-turn on the agreed-upon salary increase for its employees, saying they can&39;t afford it. 

A near month-long national bus strike earlier this year severely impacted on commuters but ended when a 2-year wage agreement was reached

However, a number of bus companies have now said they can&39;t afford the increases they agreed to and have approached the Bargaining Council for exemption from the agreement. 

 

 

Putco&39; has used fuel price hikes as a reason for the bus company asking for the exemption.

According to Vuyo Ondala of Putco, "The reality is that the fuel price is going up, there’s another increase in July, so those fare increases were implemented just to try to offset the cost coming through from the fuel increases so there hasn’t been much coming from the government you’ve seen during the negotiations, so we are in that situation, having done the retrenchments it’s still not giving us much to sustain the company."

Transport union, Satawu says Putco doesn&39;t care about the community.

According to Zanele Sabela, Satawu spokesperson: "Putco is taking advantage of this situation...We will urge government to think about renewing their contract as Putco doesn&39;t care about the community that it services. Workers are expected to go without an increase, considering that there was a recent 1 percent vat increase, food inflation has gone up, and Putco has increased fares this year by between 8 and 14 percent, they have also retrenched workers, they have received an increase of 3. 2 percent in the subsidy this year. Money is not a problem coming into the business."