NATIONAL UNION OF METALWORKERS OF SOUTH AFRICA
153 Bree Street (cnr. Becker), P.O. Box 260483
Johannesburg, Tel: 011-689 1700
Fax: 011-833 6330
Cell: 082 940 7116
NUMSA Press statement
For immediate release: 21 July, 2006
Jewellery employees get retrenchment threats for striking against physical attacks by managers
At least 230 jewellery workers face retrenchments after revolting against alleged physical assaults by a manager.
Eve Gold Jewellery, in Botshabelo outside Bloemfontein has instead dismissed the assault victim and refused to discipline the manager after he allegedly assaulted a female worker, repeatedly in front of other employees, according to Numsa’s Northern Free State local organizer Samuel Malinga.
Workers have demanded his immediate suspension, and sought government intervention because they were tired of several assault incidents by managers in the workplace which were never investigated by the company.
Now the gold bracelet producer is threatening to relocate back in Israel and dismiss its entire workforce after operating in the former Bophuthatswana Bantustan for 17 years, he said.
The employees had embarked on an illegal strike on July 4, 2006 after the company had refused to speak to the union leadership and rejected out of hand attempts to follow dispute procedures on the matter.
“What made workers angrier is that the company has refused to talk to the union, but insisted that the workers who were provoked by their insensitivity and myopic approach were dismissed,” Malinga said.
The assaulted female worker has reported the assault incident to the police, but no action has been taken yet, he said.
Eve Gold Jewellery management which reportedly refused to pay basic employment benefits, including pension, sick leave payments, Sunday work overtime payments and safety clothes, to workers has been targeted for a series of legal strikes actions.
For more information:
Contact Samuel Malinga
Telephone 051 4488686
Or Mziwakhe Hlangani
Cell phone 082 940 7116