Lay-off fears grip hundreds of Golden Arrow bus service staff
Cape Town – The SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) in the Western Cape says Golden Arrow bus services (Gabs) employees are living in fear that nearly 300 of them will be retrenched.
Union provincial spokesperson Wayne Louw said workers were devastated about the news of retrenchments.
“The company is claiming that at the moment it’s not business as usual; that there is a numbers drop in the income. They don’t necessarily claim that they have financial strain, but that it’s just due to the Covid-19 period,” he said.
Louw also claimed that more than 100 employees had tested positive, while 39 had recovered and five had died from Covid-19.
Gabs spokesperson, Bronwen Dyke-Beyer, confirmed they had initiated the Section 189 process.
“Golden Arrow is involved with Section 189 proceedings in conjunction with labour to see how we can reduce overhead costs. However, at this stage it would be irresponsible and wholly premature to predict what exactly the outcome of these proceedings will be as consultations are under way,” she said.
Dyke-Beyer said there were 19 active cases of Covid-19 among drivers specifically, and three had died. “We believe the workplace is safe and that these infections are coming from outside.
"No staff members who suspect they have Covid-19 or have tested positive may return to work until they have been cleared to do so by a medical practitioner,” she said.
Meanwhile, following a two-day strike by Go George bus drivers recently, a driver has alleged that more have tested positive.