Media release:KELLOGGS TARGETS LABOUR BROKERED WORKERS WHO FIGHT FOR THEIR RIGHTS
Union appears to take the side of the bosses
On 10 August 2018, Kelloggs served retrenchment notices on some of its employees. The process for retrenchment has begun.
In the retrenchment notices, Kelloggs claims that it has adopted a new shift system after consulting with the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU), and that this new shift system has made 57 Kelloggs employees redundant at its factory in New Era, Springs.
Neither FAWU nor Kelloggs informed any of the workers that the new shift system would lead to possible retrenchments, let alone retrenchment of over one quarter of Kelloggs’ workforce.
The workers dispute that a new shift system should result in retrenchments, particularly when the new system was actually introduced to address Kelloggs’ problem of workers working too many hours. Workers say that it does not make sense that Kelloggs should solve a problem of too much work by dismissing workers.
Kelloggs appears to be targeting former labour brokered workers after they started asserting their rights earlier this year. On 25 June 2018, the former laboured broker workers applied to the CCMA for an order that they should be treated like all other Kelloggs employees. Kelloggs responded by trying to get its labour broker to dismiss the workers. The workers took Kelloggs to the Labour Court, and Kelloggs ultimately settled the case, agreeing that in terms of the law, the former labour brokered workers were actually permanent Kelloggs workers.
After its first attempt to get rid of these workers was unsuccessful, Kelloggs is now trying to retrench them.
Kelloggs says that it cannot retain these workers on the new shift system, because this will cut too much into company profits. The Constitutional Court is currently deciding the extent to which an employer may reduce salaries and benefits to boost its profits, and whether it is fair to dismiss employees who refuse the change in work conditions (SACCAWU v Wooloworths CCT275/15). End
For more information, please contact:
Edgar Mokgola (organiser) 071 455 3500
Johannes Madihlaba (worker representative) 073 286 4808