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unions barred from stadium inspection

By unknown | Mar 24, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

A joint inspection of Green Point Stadium by Fifa and trade unions degenerated into a war of words yesterday.

This was after the stadium's project manager, Andrew Fanton, barred members of unions from entering the World Cup site.

"There is absolutely no reason for people to engage with the workers," Fanton said.

Accompanying Fifa Local Organising Committee members were labour union heavyweights from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Building Construction and Allied Workers Union, Swiss construction union (UNIA), Building Workers International (BWI) and Cosatu international secretary Bongani Masuku.

The group hit back, saying they had arranged with Fifa president Sepp Blatter last year to conduct inspections at the 2010 stadiums with the Fifa Local Organising Committee.

Last week, they were allowed to inspect working conditions at Soccer City in Johannesburg.

Fanton said the group was banned from speaking to workers as this would disrupt construction work.

NUM deputy president Crosby Moni said: "We are being suppressed. We are not accepting a situation where we are treated as tourists instead of trade unionists. We want to talk to workers. We refuse to be escorted in a bus."

Cosatu's Masuku said: "If we cannot see the workers, you must have something to hide."

Hansuelli Scheidegger, UNIA president, said: "We came from Switzerland for this inspection and don't accept this affront. Why could we have access in Johannesburg but not here?"

BWI Africa coordinator Crecentia Mofokeng said: "Unions are still asking to be included in an investigation into the death of an unnamed worker, who was killed by a truck on site in January this year."

But Fanton said: "Our report is with the Department of Labour and you can access it from them once it is final," he told the group.

He refused to disclose how much workers were being paid to build the 68000-seater stadium.

But the unions said the minimum wage was R14 an hour.


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