White unionised workers protest at Sasol plant over black share scheme
Staff Writer |
About a hundred workers from South Africa's mainly white Solidarity union staged a brief protest outside Sasol's chemicals plant in Sasolburg on Wednesday over a share scheme offered exclusively to black staff.
Article continues below
Solidarity union leaders, who say the scheme is discriminatory because it excludes white workers, handed over a memorandum criticising the plan to Sasol's managers at Sasolburg, cheered on by workers.
The energy company, known for pioneering the conversion of coal to fuel, manufactures chemicals at the Sasolburg plant located 100 km (62 miles) south of Johannesburg.
The workers wore orange caps and some of them waved placards with slogans such as "Shame on you Sasol" and in the Afrikaans language, "Swart en Wit is Waardig", which means "Black and White are worthy".
Some barbecued meat for their colleagues during the lunch time protest, which lasted for about an hour.
"What this scheme does, is to divide workers simply on the basis of race," Dirk Hermann, chief executive of the Solidarity trade union, told the workers. "We want a future of inclusion and not a future of exclusion."
The union's 6,300 members began a go-slow at the company on Monday and plan to hold a full strike on Thursday.
Sasol, which employs around 26,000 people in South Africa, said it had made contingency plans.
Company spokesman Alex Anderson said the Sasolburg plant is undergoing a scheduled maintenance shutdown.
"There were no interruptions. Operations continued as normal," Anderson said. ■
International measures on illegal deforestation are beginning to put pressure on Brazil, where banks have agreed to deny credit to meat packers that purchase cattle from such areas, according to the Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban).