An empty oil drum, a two-plate stove and KFC streetwise 2 for a pension...

2016-09-07 09:03
Plantation. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Plantation. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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White River – About 500 workers at the White River Saw Mill in Mpumalanga have gone on strike after they were allegedly offered a 78c wage increase.  

One of the workers, Tebogo Monareng, 43, told News24 on Tuesday that they wanted a basic salary of R5000.

He said they had been picketing at their employer’s offices since last Friday. 

Monareng had been working for the company for 10 years. He said workers got between R2200 and R3000 a month and received no pension or medical aid.

He claimed those who had been with the company for 35 years got an empty oil drum, a two-plate stove and KFC streetwise 2 meal for a pension.

He alleged that on August 17, the company offered them a 78 cents increase.

“The company said their final offer to us would be a 78 cents increase.  We do not have a medical aid and we also share changing rooms with female workers. We don't have privacy, and if you go to a toilet for 10 minutes, employers start complaining.”

The company’s Karlien Maritz said: “From the company’s side we do not have a comment at this stage.”  

Monareng said they wanted their rights acknowledged and that workers felt oppressed.

“It was embarrassing when we witnessed our parents, who used to work for the same company, going through this and it is embarrassing for us to earn less money,” he said.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union’s Mpumalanga regional secretary John Sibiya said they would continue fighting for workers’ rights.

“It is troubling that workers have been earning less than R3000. Workers deserve better than what they are receiving right now.”

Read more on:    mbombela  |  labour

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