The Mercury of Wednesday, September 24, 2008, reports that Remant Alton (our lovely bus company) has fired over 350 bus drivers for participating in an illegal strike. The strike was precipitated by Deputy City Manager Derek Naidoo’s article on the background to the ongoing bus debacle which I reported here.
The drivers were reported in Wednesday’s Mercury as saying that they did not want to work for Remant Alton, because of its history of financial mismanagement, and that they would prefer to work for the municpality. Naidoo replied to the drivers by saying that the munipality was not in a position to take them on. I can imagine how that soothed the drivers’ passions.
The Mercury of today, September 25, 2008, reports that Remant Alton was to use trainee drivers and advertise for new staff in an attempt to beat the strike.
The comment was made along the way by Naidoo that the city could not break its contract with Remant Alton unless it defaulted. So why buy the buses from the company? The best course would have been to let it go bust and for the municpality to take over the bus service. It seems to me to be the height of folly to buy the buses back from them but, despite their poor history, let them still run the service.
There are few details available as yet but city management have come up with what seems like another harebrained scheme. This time they have some notion of getting the minibus taxi operators involved in the running of the bus service once remant Alton’s contract expires in late 2010. More details as and when…