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MANZINI – Guard Alert Security Services and SATU are at each other’s throats over alleged victimisation of the unions’ shop stewards by the security company.

This comes after the security company dismissed two shop stewards of the Swaziland Amalgamated Trade Unions (SATU), while another is awaiting a disciplinary hearing.

Following this, SATU petitioned Guard Alert Security Services and demanded that the company should unconditionally reinstate all the shop stewards within seven working days. According to the petition, on December 5, 2018, the security company allegedly verbally dismissed Thokozani Simelane, who was working a night shift for the Matsapha Branch.

The union said Simelane was dismissed based on allegations that he committed misconduct in 2016.  “There was no disciplinary hearing conducted and the nature of the alleged misconduct is not known,” reads part of the petition which was signed by SATU Secretary General Frank Mncina.

Again, the union alleged that on March 22, 2019, the security company allegedly dismissed Lifa Mofokeng, a shop steward who was also on a night shift and that his dismissal was based on allegations that he committed gross misconduct. Furthermore, SATU said on April 16, 2019 (yesterday), the company was intending to conduct a disciplinary hearing against Elijah Dlamini, who was a shop steward for Manzini Cash in Transit Department. It said the company alleged that Dlamini absented himself from work as he did not get permission. “This is despite the fact that Dlamini produced a genuine sick sheet, which was signed by a registered medical practitioner when he came back,” the union alleged in the petition.

On that note, the union said it viewed the company’s actions as a demonstration of its continued arrogance in victimisation of shop stewards who were elected to represent the interest of workers in the workplace. The union said it understands that shop stewards, like the rest of all employees, could be subjected to a disciplinary process. However, it argued that the company should follow detects of the law.

“As a union, we have been calling upon the company on several occasions to observe the right procedure as outlined in the Industrial Relations Act of 2000 as amended when dealing with shop stewards who have committed misconduct,” the union said in the petition. On that note, the union said it was clear to it that the company was out to victimise shop stewards and ultimately get rid of them in the workplace.

However, after talks, which were held in the presence of the police, the union and Guard Alert Security Services management agreed that they would have a meeting today to discuss the issues.

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