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'MyCiTi striking workers fired pending disciplinary hearings'

Kidrogen says striking drivers had been issued notices of dismissal and those who have not reported for duty are fired unless they have valid reasons.

MyCiTi bus drivers strike at the Cape Town Civic Centre on 15 October 2018. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN – A MyCiTi operator says its striking workers have been fired pending disciplinary processes because they continued with an illegal strike.

Kidrogen is one of the four vehicle operating companies (VOC) contracted by the City of Cape Town to provide MyCiTi bus services.

Workers including bus drivers and security guards have been demonstrating since last week, demanding to be employed by the municipality and calling for better working conditions and better pay.

Kidrogen CEO Andile Peter says the last time workers went on strike, the company lost R10 million.

He says because the company's 200 bus drivers have been on strike, they've had to make other plans like getting shareholders - who used to be drivers - on the road; some drivers have been at work.

Peter says 80% to 90% of the drivers who are on strike want to return to work as they don't have issues with the salary or working conditions.

"At Kidrogen we've dealt with those issues, we paid our workers more than other companies. We even give them funeral benefits, for their spouses, for their children as well. We cannot be in the same, as much as we are a VOC, our dynamics are not the same."

He says striking drivers had been issued notices of dismissal and those who have not reported for duty are fired, unless they have valid reasons for staying away, like intimidation.

Peter says each case will be dealt with individually and the company will be using video and photographic evidence in disciplinary proceedings.