Hire and fire

Peter Smulik, Rugby

I am appalled at this strike action, and I think it is high time to apply
a policy of “hire and fire”.

These strikes are called at the drop of
a hat without the slightest consideration of how many working people will be inconvenienced.

All the operating company has to offer is, “commuters are advised to make use of other modes of transport”.

In Cape Town, in particular, we had a well-structured suburban “Metro” railway system which has been neglected through mal-administration and destroyed by vandals and is now useless.

The City insisted on building the very expensive and inefficient new MyCiTi bus system for the benefit of the citizens, which is, by all account going a similar route with strikes every now and then by aggrieved employees.

Public-transport facilities must be declared an essential service and any action by anyone disrupting the system must attract criminal procedures.

Striking personnel with or without union support must be charged with illegal conduct, and unions supporting stoppages at public-transport installations must face a similar action.

Unions and the employees at these companies must learn to negotiate without strikes.

The working-class commuters are today effectively at the mercy of hooligan employees, radical union bosses, vandals and under-qualified employees at Metrorail and Prasa, while the top brass in the national, provincial and local government have no answers to
solve the desperate situation.

Commuters in Cape Town (and much the same in other cities) are reliant on the mass taxis and their own four wheels (if they have any), both of which just add to the already totally congested road network.

The economy suffers from all of these damaging actions and with it the people and most of all those who can least afford it.

In a case like the MyCiTi bus strike, the operator needs standby personnel to be available at short notice before stopping an essential commuter service. But it seems this would require forward thinking and is too much to ask.

The strikers must
be dealt with by firing them and re-employing those who are willing to work.

After all, when they were employed they signed a contract with certain conditions and those conditions are binding, on the employer as well as the employee.

To strike because certain conditions are no longer liked is equal to holding a gun to someone’s head.

To continue in the manner we have been going during the last few years is a lose-lose situation for all, and those in authority must take decisive action so that the country and its citizens can move forward and prosper again.

For the record, I don’t use MyCiTi buses, I am one of the lucky ones who does not need them.