2010 stadium staff fired

Posted On Thursday, 19 February 2009 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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MBOMBELA stadium will not meet its April completion deadline after construction firm Basil Read dismissed about 400 workers following an illegal strike.

Construction IndustryMbombela, in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, is one of the stadiums under construction for next year’s World Cup.

Eugene du Toit, spokesman for Mbombela Stadium Joint Venture, said yesterday progress was derailed by illegal strikes throughout the construction period.

The strike at Mbombela had entered its third week, and according to Du Toit, workers were “demanding a R70 000 bonus fee each because the project was nearing completion”.

Du Toit said: “The construction process has been hit by unprotected strikes, most of which were over wages and the land deal facilitated by the municipality.”

He said the first illegal strike was in December 2007 and it was agreed that any illegal industrial action would result in dismissals. “They participated in another illegal strike last year June over bonus payments and we dismissed them.

“We later reinstated them under another agreement that they will never engage in an illegal strike.”

Du Toit emphasised that no worker will be reinstated this time. “None of the striking workers will be reinstated or will have anything to do on site.”

Asked when the stadium will be ready, Du Toit said: “November 2009 sounds [like] a realistic time for completion.” Mmatsatsi Marobe, chief executive of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, said: “People should manage their labour relations better; we have the world watching us and we can’t afford any more delays.”

She said completion in November was still “fine” because there would still be about six months before South Africa staged the event.

Lesiba Seshoka, National Union of Mineworkers spokesman, which also represents workers in the construction industry, said the company should be careful when dealing with this issue.

“The NUM condemns this illegal strike, but the company also needs to continuously engage its workers.” He added that a “big problem” would arise if the company employed labour from outside the community to replace the fired workers.

 

Last modified on Sunday, 06 October 2013 11:46

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