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COSATU NW visited Brits Bags Manufacturing at Mogwase Section
17 September 2012
The Congress of South African Trade Union visited the BBM plant at Mogwase on 15 September 2012 and found that workers are still trapped under very high exploitation, by both African black mangers and, in particular, those who are from outside and the company director.
The company owns two plants, one based in Brits and the other in the Mogwase factory section in the Moses Kotana municipality.
The company at Mogwase employs over 200 workers who are oppressed in terms of the Labour Relations, Basic Conditions of Employment and Occupational Health and Safety Acts and many other policies of this country. Workers are dismissed for joining the union of their choice and in the worst cases are dismissed without any hearing.
Workers are not registered with the Department of Labour for UIF, and get injured on duty on a daily basis with no report to the Department of Labour. If it is reported no action is taken against the employer. Workers are paid less than R1600 for every second week of the month, no public holidays or weekend pay and no overtime pay.
COSATU is giving the management of BBM only seven days to reinstate all workers who are dismissed, to make sure that all workers are registered, to make sure that all workers who got injuries during working hours are reported to the Department of Labour and they are compensated all what is due to them.
It must be on record that the employer will be formally reported to the Minister of Labour and the Hawks for most injuries on duty that were not reported. The workers’ rights are undermined by the real capitalists and treated like under the old apartheid government which did not care about the conditions of workers, but only about production and profit.
It is also disturbing to see women working night shift with no protective clothes , with no safety, women sleeping on the bags during resting time, even when they are pregnant. This is real abuse by the employer against our poor women working for so many years and paid with profits not a basic salary.
The employer is instructed by the federation to make sure that come the 26 September 2012 all workers conditions must be improved and workers be allowed to join a union without any fear from anybody and that both Department of Labour and the HRC must do a full investigation into the constitutional rights of workers who are oppressed after 18 years of democracy.
For more information feel free to call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary, Solly Phetoe, on 082044055.