About 100 disgruntled former Volkswagen employees who were dismissed from the Uitenhage plant 16 years ago held a picket and blocked the exit to the plant’s main gate yesterday to hand over a memorandum of grievances.
The former employees and widows of former employees were joined by members of the EFF who carried placards as they marched down Algoa Road to the entrance of company’s gates.
The petition included demands to be provided with UIF forms, provident fund money they say they are owed, and for their children to be employed as per a contract they claim was signed between them and the company in 1997.
March organiser, Kiewiet Stuurman, said he did not think the demands were irrational.
“We just want what is ours because this very serious matter has caused a lot of upset in our lives for nearly 16 years,”Stuurman said.
“Volkswagen has been misleading us all these years and, out of desperation, we have reached out to the mayor [Athol Trolliip] for help as this is now a state of emergency.”
Management refused to meet the marchers as they regard the matter as closed.
Volkswagen group communications general manager Matt Gennrich said yesterday the company had nothing new to say on the matter.
In the past Gennrich said: “We have followed all the legal processes in the dismissals.
“The matter was heard and decided in favour of VWSA by the courts in South Africa as well as the International Labour Organisation.
We regard the matter as closed.”
The workers were dismissed in February 2000 when they embarked on an unprotected strike, following extensive efforts by the company to get them to return to work.