The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) Local Office in Nigel in Ekurhuleni will be marching this week to express their anger over the poor treatment of workers at Fortune Steel in Nigel. Fortune Steel refuses to comply with basic health and safety laws and is flouting basic labour law regulations.
Fortune Steel is a, scrap smelting firm which is owned by the Fortune Group in India. Since it began operating we have observed a high rate of serious injuries on duty. Furthermore, employees are being severely exploited and labour laws are blatantly disregarded and ignored by the company. The vast majority of injured workers who lay complaints or claims against the company are dismissed without being able to claim from the compensation fund.
It is our strong belief that this company has no interest in creating job opportunities for local employment, as it imports labour from India, and according to our members it has established a hostel within the company premises to ease this process. Recently, it has bluntly refused to grant NUMSA trade union organisational rights, in spite of the fact that we have organised the majority of workers at the firm. Fortune Steel abuses workers in the following ways:
- Some of the workers are not given Personal Protective Clothing and the rate of injuries are extremely high
- Workers complain that those who have been injured on duty have been dismissed on the spot. NUMSA has recorded at least 19 cases of workers who have been injured on duty without compensation
- Workers complain that they often work 7 days a week and are not paid all their wages
- Workers complain that they often work overtime without compensation
- Workers complain that they are often forced to go into dangerously hot areas of the plant without protective clothing.
- Workers do not get payslips and there seems to be no evidence that statutory deductions like UIF; and contributions to the workers Compensation fund like COIDA are being made
- Workers complain that dismissals occur without proper processes being followed.
NUMSA condemns the management of Fortune Steel for this vicious attack on workers. We will force them to adhere to the rule of law, whether they like it or not. Our members are ready to defend their rights and the march on Friday is the first salvo against this abusive employer.
The march will commence from NUMSA Nigel Office at 2:00 pm. Details are as follows:
DATE : Friday the 13th April 2018
GATHERING POINT : 25 Breytenbach Street, Nigel. From there we will proceed to Fortune Steels at Pretoriusstad.
TIME : 2:00 pm
We have invited the Indian Ambassador and the Director General of Labour to receive the memorandum. NUMSA Ekurhuleni Regional Chairperson Jacob Xilongo will hand over the memorandum.
The struggle continues!
NUMSA Nigel Local Coordinator
For more information contact:
Local Deputy Chairperson
073 109 4611
NUMSA National Spokesperson (Acting)