Sacked strikers appeal to CCMA

2008-08-14 00:00

The union representing about 200 Triple A Beef workers who were sacked following a strike at the company says it has forwarded their case to the Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

The workers went on strike to show their unhappiness about certain clauses in their contracts, including one on wage increases.

They also claim they were forced to sign the contracts.

Triple A Beef said the workers downed tools without presenting grievances to management, and that it therefore instituted disciplinary hearings into their conduct.

The Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood, and Allied Workers’ Union (Ceppwawu) said the company refused to recognise it as the workers’ representative in a disciplinary hearing, held some weeks ago by Triple A’s consultants Nasmesa, which ordered workers to reapply for their jobs.

Ceppwawu claims it is unfair for Triple A to call a hearing on an internal matter while preventing the union from representing workers when the company is represented by a consultancy firm.

“We are taking them to the CCMA because they acted unlawfully and we hope justice will be done.

As a union, we believe that it is every worker’s right to be represented in arbitration,” said Ceppwawu spokesman Mfanelo Dladla.

However, Triple A Beef director Shaun Caine told The Witness that “although Nasmesa is our consultant, they played an independent role and were not biased against the workers. The workers never told us that they are the members of the union … no deductions were taken from their payments as union fees.”

Nasmesa has confirmed that Triple A Beef hired new employees this week. The employees include those who did reapply for their jobs.

“The old employees will be given what is due to them and start afresh. However, we are not aware that the matter is with the CCMA now, but we are prepared [for the hearing] … since there are no loopholes on our part,” said Nasmesa’s spokeswoman Veronica du Plessis.

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