M-Tec company failing to implement signed agreement.

DATE : 05 May 2004



The National Union Of Metalworkers Of South Africa (NUMSA) is gradually losing patience with the fibre optic cable supplier – Melesela Technology (M-Tec) based in Vereeniging for failing to implement the Employment Equity Plan. M-Tec is 51% owned by black empowerment company, Malesela, while South Koreans own the remaining 49%. The dispute emanate from the failure of the company to implement the following measures in terms of the signed agreement in 2002:

– New corporate governance structure;

– Effective and improved channels of communications in terms of equity and skills development issues;

– Drastic changes in recruitment and transformation policies;

– Constant consultation with the union on operational issues.

Workers are angry that the company defied and deviated from the agreement by filling vacancies with outside people and continued to provide in-plant training that did not advance workers career paths. The sad part is that white males are recruited and hired to fill high positions in the company. This is blatant venomous discrimination because the company utilizes an employment practice that is facially negative and disproportionately affects workers who are disadvantaged. The practice cannot be adequately justified. This is a case for discrimination because the employer employment practice has disparate impact on a statutorily protected group. In the mist of all the processes the union was not consulted and subsequently marginalized. The company wants to coerce the union to sign the workplace skills plan so that it can reclaim money from the metal industry SETA. The union would not sign because the management is not trusted to implement correct policies. The relationships in the company remain intolerable.

We therefore find the actions of the company deplorable and creating a climate of segregation and insult based on colour. We are deeply worried about vindictive and prejudicial acts in the company. It is probable that the company managers are promoting discriminatory policies. It is our belief that any variation to acceptable moral standards without any objective basis is a breach of contract to the agreement on working conditions.

The company failed to correct the situation. NUMSA has not been encouraged by the negative spirit of the company to resolve the issues. The union has been trying hard to convince the company. The company has not realised the importance of engaging meaningfully. We remain convinced that the employers conduct cannot be described as understanding because they demonstrated unwillingness to find a solution. The company policies has shown complete disregard for workers conditions. The situation has led to lack of human resource development and growth of the company.

For more information or interviews contact Dumisa Ntuli at (011) 689-1700 or 0829737282.