The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has written a letter to Transport Minister Blade Nzimande appealing to him to intervene in state owned bus company Autopax after it notified employees that it won’t be to pay April salaries because of cash crunch. Autopax is a subsidiary of road and rail transport parastatal Transnet.
In a letter addressed to staff, Autopax Interim Chief Executive Officer Nathi Khena said the company has been experiencing a cash flow crisis over the past 12 months due to a depleted fleet of buses and a declining pool of passengers; adding that the current bus strike had compounded the situation.
“Based on the above, I regrettably wish to advise all employees that the company will not be in a position to pay the April 2018 salaries as expected. This is the main due to the fact that the company does not have the adequate cash flow to meet this month’s payroll requirement,” Khena said.
However the United National Transport Union (UNTU), Transnet biggest union and an affiliate of FEDUSA said workers should not be made to bear the consequences of poor management.
“UNTU will not accept Autopax’s pathetic excuse that this is due to the ongoing bus strike that other unions in the bus transport sector embarked on last week. It is a constitutional right of all workers to embark on a protected strike.
“By withholding their salaries and stating that the company cannot pay them because an adequate number of buses could not operate, is holding the striking workers ransom to return to work or else their families would be without food and shelter,” said UNTU General Secretary Steve Harris.
FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George a permanent Board for Autopax parent company Transnet should be appointed immediately to deal decisively with a plethora of poor governance issues that were now cascading down to the bottom and negatively affecting the livelihoods of workers, including putting the security of their pensions at risk.
FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry. See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.
For interviews please contact:
FEDUSA General Secretary
084 805 1529
UNTU General Secretary
082 566 5516
FEDUSA Media Officer
072 637 8096