National

Solidarity hoping to draw fresh blood from race employment case

Sapa

Solidarity is taking SANBS to court hoping to set a precedent applying to companies that employ "the principle of absolute exclusion based on race".

Solidarity deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann, centre, outside the Johannesburg high court in Johannesburg.(Alon Skuy, Gallo).

Solidarity intends approaching the courts for clarity on whether an employer may place an absolute embargo on applications from certain racial groups for job vacancies, it said on Sunday.

It served process on the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) on Friday, said Solidarity deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann.

"In the case of the SANBS, we are representing two applicants". he said.

Hermann said they were concerned about their employer's policy after it advertised job vacancies for which only black South Africans could apply.

"The blood service embarked on a space creation strategy and offered severance packages to white employees older than 55, thereby creating 13 vacancies," he said.

"The blood service was now advertising these vacancies for black employees only".

Hermann said Theodore Reyneke who had worked for the SANBS for 27 years and Sanet Schönfeldt, for 23 years, were taking the SANBS to court because they were not allowed to apply for these positions.

Bleed for the principle
Solidarity has been engaged in a debate with Woolworths over similar job advertising policies.

Hermann said the principle had to be tested in court.

"If our case against the blood service succeeds, we will lay down a precedent that will apply to Woolworths and all other companies that apply the principle of absolute exclusion based on race," he said.

Solidarity expected to go court as soon as next week, and said it would try to obtain an interdict to prevent the SANBS from filling the vacancies while the court case was underway.

"We call on the public to bleed for the principle by donating blood and then voicing their objection. By no means do we want the court action to cause people to stop donating blood," said Hermann.

The SANBS could not be reached for comment. – Sapa.

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