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COSATU Free State condemns the mass dismissal of workers by Buthelezi EMS
COSATU Free State is shocked but not surprised by the mass dismissals of workers employed by Buthelezi Emergency Medical Services. This company has been contracted by the Department of Health to provide emergency medical services. We have learned that workers were not paid their salaries on time and they were also not provided with any notification, warning or explanation. After several enquiries the employer made some commitment that salaries would be paid on July 06, 2018 which later became July 13, 2018 and until today the salaries have not been paid.
The employer has only apologised for the delayed payments to the workers and continued to make some vague assurances. We are now shocked that workers have been charged and dismissed for making enquiries about their delayed salaries.
In our view this represents a very extreme case of unfair dismissal that cannot be tolerated in democracy. Our affiliated union South African Emergency Personnel Union (SAEPU) has represented the workers through these difficult circumstances. It has since become clear that a decision to dismiss them was made even before the hearings could be convened.
It is unthinkable that an employer in this day and age can behave so abominably and treat workers modern day slaves. COSATU has written to the employer demanding a meeting to discuss this matter and we are mobilizing our members to engage in public demonstrations and pickets to highlight the plight of employees under Buthelezi EMS.
This case strengthens our case against the privatization of public health services, health is not a commodity but a right to every citizen therefore health services should remain in public hands and should be fully resourced.
Issued by COSATU Free State
For enquiries- Provincial Secretary Monyatso oa Mahlatsi @ 010 219 1373 or 076 115 9923