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Report on the Heineken Dispute Award

04/11/2023
Publication: CWAO
Author: Press Writer

First short report on the Heineken dispute award to SFW on 04 November 2023

Short history of the dispute

  • 257 workers placed at Heineken Sedibeng by Imperial referred this case to the CCMA in October 2017 – 6 years ago!
  • Heineken and Imperial did everything they could to delay it and frustrate it!
  • That is why only finished the arbitration hearing in September 2023. We had to fight hard to get the award - which was eventually sent to us just before 10pm last night.
  • We are still reading the award.
  • It is a long award of 92 pages and 846 paragraphs, so we have to read it carefully before we can comment on the details. The legal team is working on this.

WE WON THE MAIN ISSUE IN THE CASE!
The award is a VICTORY FOR SIMUNYE WORKERS FORUM!

The CCMA found that Imperial and Liquor Runner are TES (labour brokers) not “service Providers” as the bosses had argued.

The last 3 paragraphs say that:

  • Paragraph 844: Imperial was NOT a service provider, but was a TES. There was a s197 transfer to Liquor Runner, so the CCMA finds that Liquor Runner is also a TES.
  • Paragraph 845: About 60 named workers who are presently working at the Sedibeng site “are deemed to be permanent employees of Heineken”
  • Paragraph 856: If any of the dismissed workers (there are about 100) get reinstated, they will also be deemed permanent employees of Heineken.

But the Award will go on Review to the Labour Court.

This is an important legal moment. Heineken and Imperial and Liquor Runner will definitely take this award to the Labour Court on review. We already have a senior advocate on brief to lead our defence in the Labour Court.

At the Labour Court, we will be allowed to “cross-review” – that is, we will also challenge the parts of the award that we don’t like, but support the part we do like (that Imperial and Liquor Runner are TESs).

Our main complaint is that the CCMA left a lot of the workers out of the award for all sorts of reasons that we don’t agree with. But this now gives us a chance to fight these points in the Labour Court, so that other workers won’t go through the same problem.

During the coming week, the legal team will give full advice to the SWF about which workers were left out, and why, and what we will do about it.

We always knew that the bosses would review the award if we won. So we never expected to get any actual relief (like higher wages) immediately – we have to wait for the review.

THE VICTORY FOR SIMUNYE WORKERS FORUM IS THAT IMPERIAL AND LIQUOR RUNNER ARE TESs.

That means that ALL labour broker workers at the Heineken Sedibeng site (working on the returnables lines, in the warehouse, and forklift drivers) are, in law, deemed to be Heineken’s workers – according to the CCMA. We will try to make sure that the Labour Court confirms this.

What’s next:

  • The Legal team will communicate with all applicants on the WhatsApp groups to let them know who the CCMA included and excluded, and why.
  • The bosses will have to launch their review application within 6 weeks – that is, by 15 December.

Category: CASE REPORT | DISPUTES