Putco puts the brakes on retrenching over 200 employees

The Public Utility Transport Corporation (Putco) will look at alternative ways to save costs.

The National Union of Mineworkers SA (Numsa) released a statement on Tuesday confirming that Putco’s management will no longer proceed with plans to retrench 214 employees.

In February, the bus company announced plans to lay off 214 employees due to declining revenue and the effect of the Covid-19-related lockdown.

Numsa said Putco can save millions by dealing with mismanagement and wastage at the entity. The union said fake tickets, job rotation and outsourcing are the main problems responsible for Putco’s financial woes.

National spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said, “We raised the issue of fake tickets and the negative impact that this was having on Putco’s revenue. The bus company depends on an outdated ticketing system which has not been updated since 1947. We have noted that management has acknowledged that this is a fundamental weakness, and therefore it will be taking concrete steps to update the ticketing system in order to generate more revenue.”

She also explained that job rotation is a burning issue for union members because it meant they worked reduced hours, and this meant they earned less. Putco management said that job rotation would be stopped on March 15.

Numsa said it was pleased that management had committed to reinstating full hours and full shifts and it would continue engaging the bus company to implement insourcing of workers rather than outsourcing, to reduce costs further.