Dunlop fires violent strikers

2012-09-28 00:00

STRIKING Dunlop Industrial Products workers were fired with immediate effect yesterday after they had on Wednesday attacked the company’s technical director in his car.

In a statement released through Farrell Inc. Attorneys, they said the reason for the dismissals was the “serious misconduct of the employees”.

They said the workers were involved in a number of acts of violence, intimidation and harassment of fellow employees, suppliers and customers.

Police spokesperson Captain Lolly Moodley yesterday told The Witness that on Wednesday, striking workers surrounded the car of the company’s technical director as he was trying to enter the premises.

“They rocked the car, wanting the director to come out. The company’s security guards warned them, and fired rubber bullets in their direction,” said Moodley.

Farrell Inc’s Voreshka Gosai said of the incident: “The situation was very tense and volatile to the extent that the striking employees blockaded the director’s vehicle and tried to open the doors with a distinct intention to cause physical harm to him.” She said that as the director was being attacked, Howick police “simply stood by and took no action”.

However, Moodley said this was not true. “According to an officer on the scene, the security guards reacted by firing rubber bullets. If police had gone in, they would have walked into the line of fire,” said Moodley. The strike began on August 22. On that day, the Labour Court in Durban granted an order directing Numsa and its members to act lawfully.

Gosai claimed that a number of cars trying to enter Dunlop’s premises were damaged, and that two employees have had their homes set alight “in the early hours of the morning while their families and infant children were inside”.

Cosatu’s provincial secretary Zet Luzipho condemned the shooting of the protesters, calling the police to act swiftly by arresting those who shot at them.

Luzipho, who was not aware of the dismissals when contacted by The Witness, said it was uncalled for to dismiss workers who were taking part in a legal strike.

“Cosatu will not tolerate that,” he said, adding that they would meet with the National Union of Metalworkers of SA to discuss this.

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