COSATU AND AFADWU MARCH TO NESTLE SA-ESTCOURT FACTORY
AFADWU is currently on strike at the Nestle-Estcourt factory. Our members are demonstrating outside company premises for the third week now as the strike commenced on 21 May 2021.
Issues in dispute are as follows:
· Wage increase: The company is offering 3, 5%, something which is even below the current CPI. Union’s official position is 7%. But as a demonstration of our willingness to resolve the impasse we even went as far as indicating our unofficial position of 5% meaning that should the company consider it; we will then go and sell it to our members.
· Wage alignment: There are huge wage disparities in the manner workers’ salaries are structured. The company has been running away for many years from fixing these. The differentiation in wages is causing a gap of up to R5000 among people under the same grade doing one and the same job. We are saying this defeats the principle of “equal pay for jobs of equal value” which we subscribe to as a union.
It is worth noting that it’s been three unions in the wage negotiations with the company, namely: AFADWU, NUFBWSAW & FAWU. After deadlocking at CCMA, FAWU opted not to continue with the fight for a better wage and signed the agreement for 3, 5%. As a democratic and a mandate taking organization, we had to listen to our members when they vehemently rejected a poverty-wage increase and decided to exercise their right to embark on a protected strike as the last weapon available to confront the arrogant employer who is maximising profit at the expense of workers?
Our members are still going strong and the company is feeling the pressure as the operation is not running at the optimum level. Our members are prepared to take it as far as they can as long the employer remains intransigent in his position. In order to avoid a complete shutdown of the business which was about to happen, the employer brought in scab labour from Free State (Harrismith) and Eastern Cape (East London). This fuelled the anger of the already emotionally stringing workers as the company is bringing people from outside our province to come and work while they are on strike. We have tried all that we could in a couple of meetings that we had with the employer since he the strike has commenced, but we are hitting the wall. The employer is not prepared to barge a bit.
Seeing the employer’s arrogance and a don’t care attitude that saw workers languishing outside for three weeks, COSATU and AFADWU took a decision to march to Nestle SA-Estcourt factory. The community and Alliance structures are in full support of the march in solidarity with the striking workers at Nestle.
The march will be as follows:
Date : 11 June 2021
Time : 09h00
Meeting point : Pricess Park then move to Nestle factory
Issued by AFADWU Secretariat
Contact Joe-Brown; Cell: 082 810 8926