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GMSA workers protest

2009-05-18 14:46
At least 300 workers protested outside two branches of General Motors in the Eastern Cape on Monday, the National Union of Metalworkers (Num) said.

Regional organiser Andile Zitho said they had started protesting at midday during the lunch break and would continue each lunch break until next Monday when they were to appear in the Labour Court.

Zitho said on Friday the union had requested the court to convene an urgent session to have General Motors SA declare at least 300 dismissals null and void, on the grounds that it did not comply with Section 189a of the Labour Relations Act.

He said the act stipulated that the company must try to find meaningful ways to avoid retrenchments, and to allow fair criteria in terms of the retrenchment process.

“When we look at the type of packages the workers got, it was minimal and in no way fair. They did not engage meaningful ways,” said Zitho.

A court date was set down for Monday, May 25.

Since January 2008, about 1 000 workers had been retrenched but Zitho stressed the court action was only related to about 300 retrenched workers.

“Until the court hearing, we will continue to strike during the lunch break.”

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