Wednesday, 08 August 2007

VODACOM'S ATTACKS AGAINST WORKERS REACH NEW LOW

Please take action before Vodacom causes further damage to workers.

On August 7th, 2007, 13 workers attempting to resume their duties after more than a month fo striking were called into offices and suspended from work.
All 13 workers were given the same form letter. Workers were never given a chance to defend themselves or even find out what they were accused of or why. Workers who attempted to clarify were told that they company does not know, that they are still investigating.

The assault on workers seems carefully orchestrated to show other workers a vicious response to union activity. Several of those suspended have been active union leaders. One is pregnant, another one is recovering from surgery. Eight had been issued arrest warrants on orders from Vodacom for alleged breaches of picketing rules, at least five of whom have already spent time locked in jail for "crimes" like crossing imaginary lines. In an ironic twist, several of the employees have received awards for their contributions to the company.

To underline the discriminatory nature of these suspensions, none of the company managers who violated picketing rules or acted against court orders are being investigated. The company has refused to meet with the union, in direct contravention of the agreement signed a few days ago.

Please take time to write to Vodacom CEO, Alan Knott-Craig, to express that you are disturbed that the persecution of workers continues in Vodacom despite the agreement with the union. Strikers should in fact be commended as this was the most peaceful and orderly strike in the recent history of South Africa. Workers have a right to due process as per the company's own policy and potential misconduct should be addressed in a non-discriminatory manner.

Follow the link on the column on the right side of the blog and write your own letter!

1 comment:

Chegu Vara said...

I must say that I am extremely dissapointed to learn that the company maintains its attitude toward workers seeking to exercise their rights.

I would think that this type of ongoing victimisation and intimidation should be publisised while the issue is still fresh in the minds of the public. Cosatu and Sattawu should reiterate their resolve to call upon their members to boycott Vodacom's products as an injury to one should still be regarded to be an injury to all.

Writing to Alan Knott-Craig will not serve to resolve the matter amicably as he has and continues to be aware of the situation and so far seems to have done nothing contructive to diffuse the situation.

CWU should continue to use this window of opportunity that is available to inform the public while it is still open. Once that window is closed the only news the public will be interested in about Vodacom is how well they're sponsoring their sports teams. It is therefore imperative that this incident of intimidation be exposed in the media.

Aluta Continua!