No work, no pay for ‘revolting’ bus drivers, says Rea Vaya operator

The Rea Vaya bus drivers have been threatened that the no work, no pay policy will apply should they choose to continue with their “revolt”.

This is according to Pio Trans, a company that renders bus services to the City of Johannesburg.

In a letter to employees on Tuesday afternoon, Pio Trans said the South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council is silent on the issue of late payment of salaries.

It further mention that management’s promise that salaries will be paid on Friday cannot be fulfilled due to financial crisis that the company faces.

“Therefore we revert back to the basic conditions of employment which state that an employer must pay remuneration not later than seven days after the completion of the period of which remuneration is payable.

“It was communicated that the salaries will be paid at the latest by Friday, March 3 2023. We have no choice but to follow procedures according to the Labour Relations Act. A dispute by employees cannot be lodged before seven days has lapsed.

“Take note that the policy of ‘no work, no pay’ will be followed,” reads the letter, stating that the drivers who refuse to return to their posts will face consequences.

All this despite a letter which was sent out earlier on Tuesday stating that the Rea Vaya operator has committed that employees will receive their delayed salaries on Friday.

Commuters in Johannesburg were left stranded on Monday after the drivers downed tools for non-payment of salaries.

Pio Trans has found itself in many controversies lately, including failing to pay more than R9-million to Litsamaiso, another Rea Vaya bus operator.

In a letter seen by Sunday World on Monday, Pio Trans management apologised to employees for not paying their salaries.

“Pio Trans wants to apologise to employees regarding the delay of salaries as a result of non-payment from the City of Johannesburg due to outstanding contractual submissions,” it said in a letter.

On Sunday, we reported that Pio Trans was running out of fuel as it owes Litsamaiso more than R9-million.

Speaking to Sunday World when buses failed to ferry commuters back home on Monday, one of the commuters, Doreen Magadla, said: “This is nonsense. We have bought tickets already.

“Why do we have to suffer while Pio Trans’ management deals with its finances? We paid for our tickets, this nonsense.”

Another frustrated commuter Sipho Radebe said it is the responsibility of the City of Johannesburg to instruct Pio Trans to get its house in order.

“We are not going to be subjected to this rubbish. The City of Johannesburg must intervene because Pio Trans is its client,” said Radebe.

Pio Trans chairperson Nomazotsho Memani apologised and assured commuters that the problem is being attended to.

“Rest assured that we are working around the clock to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. The Rea Vaya commuters remain our top priority,” Memani said.

“The main cause of these delays is that there are certain requirements that must be fulfilled with the City of Joburg and other role players around the new contract.

“This has taken longer than expected. This process has led to these delays and also had a ripple effect on salaries.”

Memani explained further: “As a result, I learned in a meeting today [Monday], that Rea Vaya drivers and some employees may refuse to work if all of this is not solved by today.

“To address this, we have sent a delegation to engage with employees and make sure that everyone understands the current situation.

“[However,] I’m told that some employees are refusing to accept these reasons.”

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