Heineken strike leaders fear dismissal

“We are working out in the rain‚” said Motula Sididli. “We need basic shelter.”

On October 9 workers from Imperial Managed Logistics (Imperial)‚ a labour broker hired by the Dutch brewing company Heineken‚ held a one-day strike at the company’s Sedibeng brewery. They demanded better working conditions and direct employment by Heineken.

The strike was unprotected‚ and the Labour Court interdicted it.

Then workers went to the Heineken offices in Sandton last week‚ in what Imperial has described as an “illegal protest”. The workers deny it was illegal. But Sididli and other strike leaders were suspended and now await a disciplinary hearing on 7 November.

The strikers are not unionised‚ but they are represented by the Heineken Workers’ Forum. “We need Heineken benefits because we are Heineken workers‚” said Sididli. “We need protection. We aren’t receiving enough money to feed our families.”

“In eight years I have never had one disciplinary hearing‚ but now I am afraid they will dismiss me because I have been educating other workers about their rights‚” said Gladys Thaane‚ an employee of Imperial and also a suspended Heineken Workers’ Forum representative.

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