EFF protests in Sandton with Huawei workers

Police keep a watchful eye on the demonstrators outside the Huawei offices in Sandton.

 

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) recently held a demonstration on Grayston Drive in Sandton due to the possible retrenchments of Huawei workers.

Demonstrators brought traffic to a standstill on Grayston Drive and Metro police were present to monitor the situation and help direct traffic.

One of the protesters, Selby Makhanya said, “We are fighting for our rights. The company keeps changing labour contractors and we want to be permanent employees and not contractors. They need to employ South Africans.”

Thabiso Molemohi, a fleet co-ordinator said, “We work through labour brokers and after three months of employment, we should be permanent employees.”

He said the company needed transformation and that it was allegedly planning to bring in 300 cars and drivers from another company to replace current drivers.

READ Just in: EFF marches to Huawei Sandton offices

Washington Maponyane, an EFF public relations officer provided Sandton Chronicle with a memorandum of demands that was handed over to Huawei management on 28 April.

Members of the EFF and Huawei employees march down Grayston Drive on 28 April to protest the unfair treatment of employees at Huawei.

“Our members have been rendering services as designated drivers to Huawei and for the benefit of the clients of Huawei, inter alia Cell C, MTN, Vodacom and Telkom. The aforementioned services have been rendered for a period ranging from three to 10 years. The shocking and undeniable truth is that our members, that is, your employees, have been referred to as temporary employees for an uninterrupted period of three to 10 years,” the memorandum read.

Huawei gave the following response, “Huawei is currently changing its cumbersome outsourced transport system involving various separate service providers to one end-to-end fleet management company. After careful evaluation of our existing transport system, Huawei had to make difficult business decisions to improve operational and financial efficiencies.”

According to Huawei, some of the outsourced staff remain unhappy with the offer on the table and have engaged in protest action, supported by the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Members of the EFF and Huawei employees cause major traffic obstruction on Grayston Drive on their way to the Huawei offices in Sandton.

On 31 March, the Labour Court granted an interim order, declaring previous strikes illegal and ordering workers to refrain from protests on public roads. It also bars further intimidation of Huawei staff and the illegal occupation of Huawei offices and operations.

Negotiations between all parties are continuing.

 

What’s your opinion on the ethical treatment of employees in South Africa? Let us know by posting on our Facebook page or tweeting to us on @Sandton_News.

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Michael Butler and Pieter Dempsey

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