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Workers up in arms about 'unfair' bosses

By unknown | Dec 12, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Gershwin Chuenyane

Gershwin Chuenyane

An employee of Transwerk, a subsidiary of Transnet, was charged with negligence when he lost his right hand.

Alpheus Rakwena had four fingers crushed when a supervisor operated an overhead crane without warning. His hand was later amputated.

Rakwena has still not been compensated 11 months after the incident, which took place on January 26 .

The supervisor, Rob Fairlamb, was only suspended in October because of pressure from workers.

Rakwena, a father of two, has been a contract worker at Transwerk since 2002, earning R3000 a month.

"My pay is not good so I used to make money doing piece-jobs, such as bricklaying and plastering, and I was also an electrician," he said.

"I had a fight with the woman who told me to stop going to Compensation House because she said she was handling my matter. But I discovered she had not done anything."

Transwerk chief executive Richard Vallihu was held hostage for six hours at Koedoespoort on Thursday by angry workers who felt management had protected Fairlamb.

The disciplinary hearing is alleged to have cleared him because witnesses, including Rakwena, were not present at the hearing, which was held 50km away in Kempton Park.

They were not provided with transport and were only told on the Friday that the hearing would be held on the Monday.

Mduduzi Nxasana, a Transwerk spokesman, said: "The disciplinary processes, at the heart of the workers' concerns, will resume this week."


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