Nearly 700 workers are facing a bleak future after transport company Unitrans Passenger announced its luxury coach company Greyhound was closing its doors on 14 February this month.
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) announced that it had received a Section 189 notice
from the bus company’s owner, stating that the company was contemplating the closure of its business which involved two other bus companies, Magic Transfers and Mega Bus.
The union has approached the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) for consultation to find out what options the workers have.
According to Numsa, Unitrans stated that its business was negatively affected by the Covid-19 restrictions which
were placed on travel. The company apparently experienced “extremely difficult trading conditions” which negatively affected the company’s financial performance and could not foresee a recovery of revenue in the future.
Unitrans Passenger, which employees more than 3000 people would effectively be shedding the jobs of 693 employees by shutting down Greyhound, Magic Bus and Mega Bus.
“This is certainly not the gift of love the nearly 700 workers at Greyhound, Magic Transfers and Mega Bus were expecting,” said the union in a statement.
The company closure will lead to the wiping out of 578 jobs at Greyhound South Africa and Zimbabwe; 55
jobs at Magic Transfers; and 60 jobs at Mega Bus.
In response to the Unitrans’ Section 189 notice, the Democratised Transport Logistics and Allied Workers Union (Detawu) has written to the company urging it to apply for CCMA facilitation.
“As Detawu we view the speed at which this process is unfolding as highly suspect. Ordinarily, the company should have taken labour into its confidence at the first sign of trouble. More importantly, the employer should have applied to have the CCMA facilitate the retrenchment process.”