SOME 80 workers at Pioneer Coaches were left stranded last week after their contracts were terminated as the bus company withdrew its buses from all local routes.
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
Some of the workers who spoke to the NewsDay on condition of anonymity said they were not advised of the looming axe or reasons for the termination of their contracts.
The axe has affected drivers, conductors and mechanics with just one person left in the operations department.
“They just gave us letters last week and ordered all drivers to park all local buses. They gave us letters that stated that they would give us three months’ salary, but that is an insult for some of us who have been with the company for 15 years,” one of the workers said.
“If they intend to sell the company, we have no problem, but they should do so procedurally, not this unfair treatment.”
The workers accused company directors, brothers Simon and Hamish Rudland, of making uninformed decisions after being misled by their “inexperienced and overpaid” management team.
“We have been with this company for a long time and we have given it a good name. We were making a lot of money. Imagine some of the routes would give us over $1 000 per trip,” another worker said.
“I am not sure what led to the decision, but it is somewhat unintelligent. Local routes gave the company all the money. Who would not want $1 000 for a trip to and from Bulawayo?
“It is their decision anyway and there is very little we can do. But what we cannot let them do is give us just three months’ salary when we have worked for them for 15 years. We want the Rudland brothers to come and address us, not this carelessness of asking a human resources manager from another company to address us.”
The company is expected to issue more letters to about 25 workers today.
About 30 buses were parked at the company’s premises at 114 Dagenham Road in Willowvale in Harare yesterday afternoon.
The company’s directors could not be reached for comment, with Hamish’s mobile number continually not being answered.