Fort Napier Hospitals’ security workers protest poor payment

2017-07-06 13:45
Members of the police and fire department clear the entrance to Fort Napier Hospital on Wednesday.

Members of the police and fire department clear the entrance to Fort Napier Hospital on Wednesday. (Ian Carbutt)

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A protest broke out at the Fort Napier Hospital in Napierville and the Doris Goodwin Hospital in Edendale on Wednesday.

Security personnel blocked the entrances to both the facilities with burning tyres.

They are accusing the company outsourced by the provincial Department of Health, Ngiphile VIP Protection, of underpaying them since 2014.

They also accuse the company of not paying their Unemployment Insurance Fund despite deductions on their salaries.

SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) provincial organiser Njabulo Zulu alleged the company owed workers at Fort Napier more than R300 000 in underpaid salaries, some dating back to 2014, whereas at the Doris Goodwin Hospital workers were owed close to R300 000.

“The basic salary for workers who have Grade D should be R3 400, but workers are being paid R2 800. Last month some workers were not paid at all.

“Workers are not allowed to take leave. I would be happy if the contract of this company could be terminated,” he said.

Zulu said the workers will only go back to work once they are paid what is owed to them.

“It is not our intention to protest but we have no choice. As soon as what is due to us is paid, we will return to work,” he said.

Satawu provincial deputy chairperson Chief Dlamini said the union would not “tolerate” the exploitation of workers by the company.

“As Satawu we will always protect the rights of the workers. We cannot fold our arms while workers are being provoked by the employer,” he said.

“It is sad that in order for the workers to be heard, they had to protest because the employer is not willing to listen.”

Manager at Ngiphile VIP Protection, Sifiso Mbanjwa, asked The Witness to call him on Thursday, saying he was locked in meetings on Wednesday at Fort Napier Hospital.

The Department of Health did not respond to queries sent.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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