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 The NTM and SAFTU on the Constitutional Court dismissal of the PRASA appeal against the Labour Appeals Court decision to reinstate 700 workers dismissed in February 2013

The National Transport Movement (NTM) and South African Federation of Trade Unions SAFTU are elated at the dismissal of the PRASA appeal to the Constitutional Court. 

PRASA had sought to reverse the historic victory workers scored when on the 21 November 2017 the Labour Appeal Court upheld the appeal launched by SAFTU’s affiliate, the National Transport Movement (NTM), and reinstated 700 PRASA workers with full pay backdated to 4 February 2013.

The employees were dismissed for not having disclosed the names of the people who had been torching PRASA trains. It had since transpired that PRASA protection services officials with malicious intent to implicate NTM and its members were torching the trains. 

The dismissals were orchestrated by the then Group CEO of PRASA, Mr. Lucky Montana in collaboration with a sweetheart COSATU’s SATAWU leaders in their quest to get back at NTM leadership for exposing corruption on their part. 

Workers spent just over 5 years waiting for the case to run its full course. Over this period these innocent workers lost everything, their bonded houses were disposed, their furniture bought through higher purchase disposed, children kicked out from schools and at the personal level they suffered hunger and some have died.

This was totally not necessary and we condemn PRASA management for subjecting workers to all of this pain. We call on PRASA to waste no time in implementing the decision of the Labour Appeals Court. The workers must be reinstated and paid every cent they are owned without any further delays. 

We salute the tenacity of these workers. Throughout their ordeal they never lost hope. They remained organised meeting once every week to check the progress in their case. They practiced solidarity amongst themselves and counseled each other as they were going through this suffering. 

This victory will inspire other workers still in the middle of their own battles to be reinstated including: 

  1. 91 of the 208 workers in the Northern Cape who were dismissed by Kumba Iron Ore after a strike in 2012.
  2. 380 workers sacked in 2015 by Umbhaba Banana Estates farm in Mpumalanga, after they went on strike in support of the right to join the union of their choice, FAWU. FAWU is still fighting through the CCMA for their reinstatement.
  3. 99 Jumbo Cash-and-Carry Johannesburg staff dismissed after bogus charges arising from a go-slow in 2014 in protest against unfair treatment of workers.

Lastly we salute the families of all these workers for giving unconditional love and solidarity throughout this difficult periods.