Students at the University of Witwatersrand have refused to eat at its canteens in solidarity with dismissed catering company workers, the SA Student Congress (Sasco) said on Tuesday.
"We want to salute the 875 students who cancelled their meals yesterday [Monday] at Jubilee and the main dining hall in solidarity with the dismissed workers," said Gauteng chairman Ndumiso Mokako.
He said the meal boycott campaign was in solidarity with 17 workers dismissed by Royal Mnandi Solutions.
"We condemn the unfair dismissal of the Wits 17, a group of workers who were dismissed without written warnings by a catering company called Royal Mnandi Solutions," he said in a statement.
He said the workers were dismissed for refusing to move to other dining halls off campus, due to a lack of consultation and the additional financial burden they would incur as a result of relocation.
Royal Mnandi confirmed that the workers had been dismissed.
"We believe we have followed due process throughout the dismissal of these employees, both procedurally and substantively," said Pauline Mahlangu, human capital executive.
She said the conduct of the employees was addressed in terms of the company's code of conduct.
An appeal hearing was held on May 2.
"At this time, we have not received the outcome of the appeal hearing from the chairperson, who is an independent contractor not employed by Royal Mnandi."
She said the outcome of the appeal hearing would be made known to the former employees timeously.
"Should the decision of the company be upheld, the employees can then refer the case to the Bargaining Council," she said.