UniZulu workers protest outside international conference

2016-10-05 20:32
President Jacob Zuma at the World Trade Union Conference among other leaders (Kaveel SIngh, News24).

President Jacob Zuma at the World Trade Union Conference among other leaders (Kaveel SIngh, News24).

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Durban – About 30 University of Zululand workers staged a peaceful protest at the World Trade Union Conference in Durban on Wednesday.

Nehawu protest leader Thulani Maphosa said workers had been on strike since August 15. They wanted the introduction of pay progression, and for temporary and outsourced workers to be made permanent employees.

“These are issues we have been fighting for since August. Management needs to listen. We have addressed these matters with management many times.”

Maphosa alleged that workers were being victimised. They wanted the university to treat them fairly.

“The university management is trying to take us for a ride. We want intervention.”

Zuma had however left before the group arrived. Instead, KwaZulu-Natal’s Cosatu leaders convinced the protesters to move to their provincial office so they could discuss their grievances.

University spokesperson Gcina Nhleko said there was no “proven victimisation” at the institution.

Maphosa said the group made the journey to Durban in an effort to get the attention of senior government officials, including President Jacob Zuma.

Nhleko said proposal documents for the employment of outsourced workers were drawn up, presented and approved by the university’s human resources committee of council on August 20.

It was agreed that consultation with Nehawu could proceed once university management had received guidance from committee.

Nhleko said management “made it clear that the costs to implement these demands are not affordable”.

She said Nehawu’s demands related to resolutions made by the university council. She said those matters should be addressed at the next council meeting.

Nhleko did not indicate a date for the next meeting.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  jacob zuma  |  durban

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