The industrial giant, Sasol, and Solidarity will meet with the Commission on Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) on Thursday’s on the exclusion of white people in the new empowerment scheme, Khanyisa.
Solidarity chief executive Dirk Hermann said if the parties could not reach a settlement, it would be the first time the CCMA issued a certificate that would allow white workers to legally strike in protest against racial exclusion.
“If a certificate is issued, Solidarity will immediately start a strike match. Solidarity has about 7,000 members at Sasol and represents a large part of the company’s technical and strategic skills. ”
According to Hermann, Sasol’s previous employee empowerment scheme, Inzalo, expires on 18 May 2018. All employees, white and black, at specific post levels were part of this scheme. The new scheme, known as Khanyisa, will be put into operation by mid 2018 and will receive R21bn shares. However, white employees are excluded.
“The first scheme, Inzalo, followed the trend in the mining industry and included all employees,” said Hermann.
The new scheme distinguishes between two categories of employees. The first category includes all who belonged to Inzalo and each receives R100 000 shares. “The second category consists only of black employees and they will receive shares of around R500 000 in today’s terms.”
Hermann says that it means that a white employee who works for the company for 30 years will get five times less shares than a black employee who, for example, works for the company for three days. “A young white employee who is now working at Sasol does not benefit if he still works for the company for 30 years, but a young black employee gets all the benefits.”
According to Hermann, the first scheme, Inzalo, defined the past and white people were included. Khanyisa defines the future and white people are excluded from it.
“White workers’ frustration reached boiling point. They feel that Sasol regards white employees as less valuable than other employees. At best, they are worth five times less than their black employees and, worst of all, they are worth nothing for Sasol.
“In fact Sasol is just a microcosm of South Africa. The level of alienation of white employees is generally high and the Sasol dispute may also overflow to other employers, “said Hermann.
According to Hermann, Sasol’s workforce will be cut in two by mid 2018 – one part black and enriched; the second white and without any benefit. “Wrewel will undoubtedly arise on the part of white employees. They see what affirmative action has taken place and how employees have already been empowered.
The original article can be found in Afrikaans on Maroela Media.