The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] notes with utter repulsion the decision by Airports Company South African [ACSA] to unilaterally withdraw workers benefits and force retrenchments at the company.
The decision by ACSA forms part of the broader onslaught directed to workers through downward variation of the conditions of service and hard-won gains, including the attack and undermining of collective bargaining. ACSA management has decided to unilaterally withdraw benefits that workers are entitled to and further embarked on a process of retrenching workers through forced voluntary severance package [twice in 18 months] and this occurred without any consultation with labour.
Over the years, NEHAWU has been in the forefront in championing and registering hard-won gains for our members and workers at ACSA, and this decision seeks to reverse those gains. As NEHAWU, we shall do everything in our power to protect all the registered gains and workers’ rights.
The union has since declared a dispute of with the CCMA and we awaiting for the CCMA to issue a certificate of non-resolution on the myriad of issues which inter-alia include:
· Withdrawal of benefits like travel allowance, Sunday pay, annual leave days, bursaries and housing allowance.
· Forced Voluntary Severance Packages
· Salary reductions
· Outsourcing of key functions to service providers following the forced retrenchments under the disguise of VSP
· Refusal bargaining in order to conclude the recognition agreement
The collective agreements signed with ACSA on the above issues did not come on a silver plate but rather through serious struggle waged by our members. Our members have fought and sacrificed their lives for those rights, and as NEHAWU, we will not allow ACSA to undermine and reverse the gains made by workers.
The national union [NEHAWU] will embark on a process of consulting with its members across all the airports to consolidate its mandate and thereafter convene a national meeting to pronounce on the wayforward on this matter. This process has already commenced and will be completed by the second week of January 2022.
As NEHAWU, we will not stand idle whilst ACSA has embarked on an agenda to dismantle the institution through by laying off workers through forced severance package and outsource their work to external service providers. We will not allow the dismantling of state entities which has now become fashionably in our country without being challenged.
Already about 600 jobs have been lost at ACSA since the introduction of the forced voluntary severance package and 400 more is targeted. We will take the fight back to ACSA with all we have in defence of member’s gains and jobs.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Lwazi Nkolonzi (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 081 558 2335 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org