strike thumb medium85 85GroundUp reports that about 25 workers at the Humansdorp Kooperasie in Cookhouse, Eastern Cape, have been dismissed after downing tools for over a week.  

On Thursday, they apparently received notice of dismissal or the option of approaching the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to give reasons why they should not be fired.  The strike started when seven of eight skilled workers, including forklift drivers and food mixers, complained that they were being paid the same wage as general workers.  Employee Mzwabantu Kuse explained:  “Since 2019 I have been working here as a general worker … Some of us earn R3,900 while others are paid R4,200 … We want transparency and to be paid according to our skills.”  Carlé Erasmus, spokesperson of the Humansdorp Kooperasie responded:  “The workers in question are paid as General Workers/Batch Operators of which they are fully aware and in agreement at the time of employment.”  She confirmed the dismissals of workers at the Animal Feed Plant & Silos in Cookhouse for taking part in an unprotected work stoppage.  She also claimed that workers not participating in the strike had been threatened, and alleged there had been a physical assault on a member of management.  Erasmus indicated that the feeding plant was currently not operational “as the entrance to the factory has been unlawfully blocked.”


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