Bosasa employees return to work following panic over liquidator's letter

2019-02-26 13:51

A group of staffers who were planning to protest outside African Global Operations (AGO) offices on Tuesday morning have returned to work after being addressed by the company and their labour union.

AGO was previously known as Bosasa.

Around 08:30, a large crowd of workers stood outside the company premises in Luipaardsvlei, Krugersdorp, discussing a way forward.

The group later walked into the company premises, where they were addressed by human resources officials. They were also addressed by representatives from their union.

Workers feared that their jobs were on the line after they received a letter from the newly-appointed liquidator, Cloete Murray, on Monday.

Financial Sector and Allied Workers Union (Fawusa) chairperson Onkabetse Moagi told News24 that he had called on the workers to remain calm and return to their posts.

Panic

Moagi said the letter, which News24 has seen, had caused panic and uncertainty among workers.

In it, Murray informed employees that the company had been placed under voluntary liquidation since February 14.

"The Master of the High Court has appointed Cloete Murray as the provisional liquidator on February 22.

"We wish to inform you that, in terms of Section 38A (as amended), your contract of employment is temporarily suspended with effect from the date of provisional liquidation of the company."

It further read that the legal effect of this suspension would be that employees would not be required to render services in terms of their employment contracts.

"This suspension has, however, not been implemented and all employees are to remain in employment until further notice, except for a few individuals," the letter states.

READ: Bosasa employees panic after receiving termination letters, expected to down tools

It also said that the bulk of employees had been kept in temporary employment, as discussed during a meeting held on Friday.

"In the event that the business of the company is not sold as a going concern in circumstances which would provide for contracts of service to be transferred in terms of Section 197 of the Labour Relations Act, prior to the expiry of 21 days after the appointment of a final liquidator, the contracts of service may be terminated and employees will be entitled to preferent claims as provided for in section 98A of the Insolvency Act.

"All contracts of service not already terminated shall, unless the liquidators and the employees have agreed on continued employment, automatically terminate 45 days after the appointment of the final liquidators," said the letter.

It further said that certain employees may be re-employed on limited duration in order to assist the liquidator in his duties of winding up business at the company.

'Instilling fear and uncertainty'

Moagi said they suspected that, upon receipt of the letter, some workers encouraged others in the company to indefinitely down tools.

"There are people who are instilling fear and uncertainty. Whoever convened workers to come and protest outside the company offices, is unknown.

"We are also shocked that the company issued letters to employees, without consulting us as the union. Last week, Murray promised that he will communicate with every union before any decision is taken," said Moagi.

He added that there were instigators who wanted to serve their interests at AGO by using the union's members.

"This letter has chased more fear and panic. Now if workers are instigated, they could become unruly and serious action be taken against them, which is not what we want," he said.

The union asked its members to remain in their posts and promised that further information would be delivered to them through proper channels.

"We want a meeting with Murray and we want to raise this matter with him. We plead with him to also engage us whenever he communicates with workers, especially in these critical situations."

ALSO READ: Bosasa board dissolved, workers to keep their jobs for now -liquidator


Read more on:    bosasa  |  ago  |  johannesburg  |  state capture  |  corruption
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