Bus builder keeps on braking new rules

Cash-trapped bus body manufacturer is breaking new rules one after another after he repeatedly failed to pay his employees their weekly wages.

The broke owner of Santini bus body building enterprise has allegedly disappeared into thin air when workers, shop stewards and union officials visited his East of Johannesburg’s Springs industrial plant office, to inquire about their pay.

Last month, Hannes Kotzee, Santini senior executive of the company had been forced by the Motor Industry Bargaining Council (Mibco) to withdraw services of the 88 contract workers from the labour broker, after refusing to let off contract workers in favour of permanent employees on grounds that labour broker was owned R1m in unpaid service fees.

Eighty six permanent employees, some of whom had completed 20-year services, have since been exposed to deeply distressing experiences after the new management took over the bus company operations.

Last December 2008, the company pleaded poverty, claiming that it could not afford to pay employees year-end bonuses till today.

Santini won money-spinning tenders from the Gabonese government and the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) bus company immediately after the new management took over the company as a going concern in April last year. But, the company claimed it has not yet been paid.

When the global economic crash impacted negatively in the small bustling Springs’ industrial units, bitter conflicts spurred by alleged worsening conditions of employment between employees and Santini management had already come into view.

Workers often complained about the management’s inability to pay employees weekly wages at appropriate times, while those employed by labour broker received their monthly wages on time.

The union is also investigating if how much the company owed to bargaining council in respect of pension contributions and union subscriptions.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has filed several cases against the company for contravening motor industry bargaining council agreements and failure to remunerate employees for their work.

Management has instead appealed to the union to be granted a reprieve from paying arrear bonuses and issued notices for lay- offs and short time next week.

For further information contact:-

Mziwakhe Hlangani, Numsa national spokesperson

Mobile : 082 9407116

E-mail address: mziwakheh@numsa.org.za


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