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HomeBusinessNews24.com | Cosatu slams Eskort for dismissing 1 500 workers after strike

News24.com | Cosatu slams Eskort for dismissing 1 500 workers after strike

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Eskort's butchery in Heidelberg.


Eskort’s butchery in Heidelberg.

Facebook/@EskortHeidelberg

  • Cosatu says Eskort dismissed workers en masse in Heidelberg after a wage negotiation deadlock.
  • Eskort made a final offer of a 6% wage increase, but workers demanded a 15% salary increase.
  • While Cosatu said Eskort dismissed employees for downing tools, the company would not comment on the matter.
  • Get the biggest business stories emailed to you every weekday, or go to the Fin24 front page.

Cosatu says meat-processing company Eskort was undertaking a mass dismissal of its employees at an operation in Heidelberg, Gauteng.

This comes amid wage negotiations between Eskort and employees, where Eskort offered workers a 6% increase, while workers demanded 15%.

The ANC-aligned labour federation said even though workers downed tools in Heidelberg after rejecting the offer, they returned to duty when Eskort instructed them to do so. However, Cosatu said, Eskort proceeded to dismiss the employees once they returned to work.

READ | ANALYSIS | Cosatu stay-away a crapshoot that could expose its deficiencies

The labour federation said it received information that negotiations at the company were deadlocked after Eskort tabled a final offer of a 6% salary increase, which workers rejected as they downed tools.

“Wage negotiations between workers and the company included, among others, demands for a 15% salary increase, the conversion of casual workers into permanent employees, housing allowance, medical aid, and equal salary for work of equal value,” the statement said.   

The Cosatu statement said workers were given an ultimatum to return to work, which was followed. However, Cosatu said, dismissal letters issued by Eskort stated that workers refused to return to duty.

“Shortly after workers resumed their duties, the company issued notices of dismissal to more than 1 500 workers. While dealing with the shock of terminations, workers were informed to reapply for their jobs,” Cosatu said. 

READ | Meat producer Eskort: Our products are safe

Cosatu called on Eskort management to reinstate all dismissed workers with immediate effect and allow for constructive engagements to take place.

“If this call is not heeded, Cosatu will have no option but to initiate a fierce process that will ensure the reinstatement of these workers,” the statement said.

Fin24 reached out to Eskort and requested a comment on the Cosatu statement. Through his personal assistant, Eskort CEO Arnold Prinsloo told Fin24 that he would not be making any comments and expected unions to resolve the matter between themselves.



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