The Congress of South African Trade Unions is deeply alarmed by the Greyhound Bus Service’s announcement that they will be closing down on the 14th of February 2020.
This pending closure of Greyhound Bus Service is a regrettable tragedy, and we call on the government to intervene and try to rescue this depressing situation. This decision will plunge thousands of workers and their families into poverty and despair.
South Africa cannot afford to lose one single job at this very difficult time when unemployment has reached alarming levels. Whilst this may be a result of Covid-19 and the economic pain it has brought; it is also an indictment on the government that has failed to reduce unemployment over the last twenty-six years and of business which has shown little regard for the need to create jobs.
Alternatives to retrenchments are necessary to avoid the jobs blood bath that comes as a result of the economic fallout due to the COVID pandemic. COSATU has resolved to develop a retrenchment tool kit for sectors negatively impacted by the pandemic which will see the use of the training lay-off scheme to prevent companies from shutting down and losing jobs.
COSATU hopes that government and the private sector will intervene to prevent the loss of this company or that alternatives can be found for these workers. In this difficult period, if the worst-case scenario is realised the UIF needs to ensure that any worker who has lost their job will be paid what is due to them from the UIF.
Equally the company must also pay all monies owed to these workers. The continuing job losses speak to the need for government and business leaders to become serious about creating jobs and doing so as a matter of the highest urgency and not treating such tragic job losses as unavoidable.
This regrettable decision will also create problems for migrant workers who depend on this bus service system to travel to rural areas, as well as for tourism and trade with neighbouring countries.
This is also a reminder that without an integrated public transport system in the country, we are likely to experience more of these problems and the economic fallout that goes with it.