Trade union Solidarity and industry giant Sasol could not reach agreement about Khanyisa, Sasol’s controversial empowerment scheme, at a mediation session held at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) today. The CCMA has consequently issued a certificate to Solidarity in terms of which its members may lawfully go on strike.
This comes after Sasol announced at the end of last year that its existing employee empowerment scheme, Inzalo, would be replaced by this empowerment scheme, one which largely excludes white employees.
In putting its case to the CCMA the trade union, according to Solidarity Chief Executive Dirk Hermann, argued that white employees are entitled to go on strike in order to gain access to equal benefits, and it was a huge victory for it when the CCMA on 28 May found that the matter should be classified as one of common interest which therefore fell within the ambit of the CCCMA to be dealt with further. “We had hoped Sasol would get new insights before today’s mediation process and that we could reach a settlement that will include all employees, but Sasol wants to carry on discriminating,” Hermann said.
Hermann contends that this would be the first time that white employees would be able to go on a lawful strike over exclusion based on race. “This unique certificate paves the way for white employees to strike in protest over blatant discrimination against loyal Sasol employees,” Hermann said.
Solidarity will now proceed to obtain a mandate to go on a strike from its members at Sasol.