Numsa is set to battle out discrimination of HIV sufferer in court

A battle royal has broken out between the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and a locomotive manufacturer in Nigel over the sacking of a worker for disclosing his HIV status.

The union is preparing to institute case of unfair discrimination in the Labour Court against management of Industrial Locomotive Services.

This follows a shocking incident involving a long-distance truck driver Jablani Ngwenya of the Industrial Locomotive Services company and his manager who threatened to terminate Jabulani John Ngwenya’s employment.

The company has since stopped payment of his monthly wages of R3 900 and forced him to claim unemployment insurance fund stipends from the Department of Labour.

Ngwenya’s predicament came after he was asked to disclose that he was suffering from HIV/Aids- related tuberculosis.

The truck driver who has since been booked- off work for three months by his family doctor is now being forced by management to conduct further medical tests by the company and face dismissal if he has not fully recovered to resume his duties on June 18, 2007.

For Numsa, the incident raises new questions about the culture of bullying and abuse in the metal and engineering industries which resist transformation and compliance with the anti-discrimination legislations of the country.

Ngwenya fell ill late in January and the employers had already started asking questions about his status after his doctor gave him a week- long sick note.

We have since vowed to fight to the bitter end in court or in the streets the attitude of unscrupulous employers who preyed upon employees’ vulnerability who suffered all sorts of discrimination.

It is this attitude of the metal and engineering employers that lead one of the most committed employee to lift the lid on the discrimination story the metal industry does not want members of the public to read.

For further information contact:

Mziwakhe Hlangani, Numsa national spokesperson

Cell phone: 082 9407116

E-mail :