Solidarity to strike over Sasol's 'white exclusion'

(Geoff Brown)

(Geoff Brown)

More than 80% of Solidarity’s members at Sasol in Secunda voted for a strike against the company’s exclusion of white employees from a staff share scheme, the labour union claims in a statement on its website on Sunday.

According to the statement Solidarity members at Sasolburg’s plants will start an official voting process on August 27. Apart from the strike, Solidarity is also planning a national protest.

According to Dr Dirk Hermann, head of Solidarity, the Sasol issue can be regarded as a case-study on the exclusion of white people in general.

“Support for the strike is overwhelming. It indicates the levels of frustration among our members.
Sasol simply went too far. The rule that applies to staff share schemes at other companies, especially in the mining industry, is that all employees are included regardless of race,” said Hermann.

“The underlying message we get from our members’ answers is that enough is enough.”

Sasol has announced a empowerment scheme, Khanyisa, which assigns shares worth R500 000 to its black employees. Khanyisa follows the Inzalo scheme which, according to the Solidarity statement has “failed financially”. Inzalo has included white employees.

“In practice, it means that a white Sasol employee who works for Sasol for 30 years does not benefit, but an employee who works for Sasol for three months, gets R500 000. Workers who do the same work get different benefits. The decision of Sasol will divide workers into racial camps and drive racial tensions,” said Hermann.

In his view, Sasol’s scheme is directly opposite to the proposed Mining Charter and practice in the mining industry.

Solidarity claims the new scheme just about scoring empowerment points. The union also differs from Sasol about the way the Inzalo scheme was handled, including the exclusion of pensioners from further benefits under that scheme.

It was reported earlier that Sasol indicated it won’t change the prerequisites for inclusion in its new Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) share scheme, according to the group’s joint president and CEO Stephen Cornell. — Fin24

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