The Dursots Exploited Workers and the Anti Privatisation Forum will be picketing against Gross Human Rights Violation

Mass Action Against the monster

Friday 14 December 2007

Workers Support Group

The Dursots Exploited Workers and the Anti Privatisation Forum will be picketing against Gross Human Rights Violation

The Dursots Exploited Workers and the Anti Privatisation Forum will be picketing against Gross Human Rights Violation on the 14th November 2007 at Dursots factory in Eikenhof Misgand Road Plot 15 in demonstrating against poor working conditions at the factory at 09h00 in the morning.

Democracy in South Africa promised many poor working class people in our county a better life for all and economic stability therefore a life of dignity under the African National Congress Government. All was a dream as many workers continue to suffer and are being exploited by the bosses with little or no protection from the labour laws of the country.

Workers at Dursots Food Cooperation can bear witness to the gross human rights violation in the Dursots factory where they continue to produce huge profits for the boss Ishmael Dursots but all they get in return meager wages under terrible working conditions. The factory has employed workers who reside in poor black shanty informal settlements townships like Orange Farm, Majasane, Grasmere, Finetown and there are also workers who stay in the Dursots concentration camp that come from outside countries like Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe etc. These workers are brought into the country through illegal means by the truck drivers who deliver Dursots products in the Southern African Region and many of these workers don’t have necessary traveling documentation. So they are trapped in the factory because they are vulnerable as they fear the police from being deported back into their countries.

The poor workers are employed in the factory as machine operators, bean boilers, cocking oil packers, packing of mineral water and polish makers that are sold to African Trading, Jumbo, Absara, Makro, Nisam and Spar. Many of the Dursots products are sold to other international countries for profit making. All workers have to wake up early in the morning so that they can be at work for their morning shift that begins at 07h30 in the morning and they are suppose to knock off at 17h30. But workers are made to knock off at any time after they finish their daily target even when it takes them extra hours of work for instance workers knock off at 23h00 at night. The factory has promised to provide transport for the workers who worked till late so that they can be delivered house to house but that has not happened as the transport drop the worker at the main road at night. The reason given is that the owners’ car can be stolen in the unsafe township as the level of crime is high in the location. The many people employed in the factory are women and the reason given to them about the owners fearing for the safety of his car doesn’t not take into consideration the safety of these women who have to walk at night being exposed to dangers of being raped or killed by criminals. There are cases of women who have being raped at night when they were delivered on the street and there are cases of women who have being raped inside the concentration camp.

The workers are exploited and denied the right to organize them self in the form of the union. Workers are also denied right to life for instance when the workers went to the rest room he writes them absent in their worksheet and this will mean that you will not be paid for the day. Also woman are not entitled for the maternity leave but the sick workers are not paid even when they produce the doctor’s certificate. Many unions have tried to assist to take up the plight of the Dursots workers with little success as Ishmael Dursots is a man with a high reputation. Everybody (Police, the Johannesburg Department of Labour) seem to be scared of Dursots given that they have not enforced all the workers complains or grievances against Dursots. The workers have taken several mass actions against Dursots and as a result more than 60 workers were suspended from work without pay because they participated in an industrial action. Dursots promised that he will reinstate the retrenched workers first when there are vacancies in the factory but this has not happened and the workers have not being given any updates on their suspension. The factory has employed new workers without given the retrenched workers priority and the workers demand to be reinstated back to their jobs as they were unfairly suspended.

It is clear that Ishmael Dursots is an exploiter of workers in his factory and the country labour laws are violated by his antics. The Anti Privatisation Forum has being in support of the Dursots workers and together with the workers we demand the following basic conditions:

We demand the following:

1. The Reinstatement of the unfairly suspended dismissed workers immediately. 2. The working conditions of the workers to be improved in the factory and the workers safety to be considered at all times 3. The exploitation of workers to stop immediately and workers earn a living wage and not the meager R250.00 a week. 4. The suppression of freedom of association and workers must join unions of their choice so that they can have protection for the workers. 5. The abuse of none documented workers from other countries to stop immediately and the closing of the concentration camp as people live in squalor conditions. 6. The closing down of the Dursots factory in Eikenhof Misgand Road Plot 15 if the workers are not reinstated immediately back to work. 7. The women workers must get maternity leave and all other workers benefits 8. The children who are staying in the camp must be provided with freedom of movement and the right to education

For further information please contact Gloria @ 073 665 0089 (contact number) or Silumko @ 072 1737 268 or 011 333 8334

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