Autopax held a meeting with workers, unions and management on Monday to discuss the recent attacks on their buses.
The meeting followed a tumultuous week during which workers embarked on a wildcat strike citing safety concerns after gunmen assaulted a driver and a woman sales consultant at Kokstad Station, KwaZulu-Natal on 22 September. The gunmen also forced more than 330 passengers out of the buses they had alighted. The intention was clearly to intimidate the company to abandon its service in the province as the gunmen mentioned they were part of a taxi association.
They had arrived in seven cars, brandishing arms. The security company contracted to protect the buses in transit proved ineffective. In fact, the officers fled the scene leaving the bus drivers to protect themselves and passengers.
This is not the first time Autopax buses have been attacked. On 8 September a driver was shot and killed while another was critically injured when the buses they were driving were attacked.
In a misguided effort to force workers back to work last week, Autopax management approached the Labour Court for an urgent interdict. SATAWU opposed the application when it was heard on Friday and the judge agreed saying:
“I refuse to send workers to the slaughter house.”
Management and officials from both unions met to agree on a plan of action before giving feedback to workers late on Monday. The following was agreed: