South Africa’s mainly white union Solidarity began a strike on Monday at petrochemicals firm Sasol over a share ownership scheme offered only to black staff members.
Under black economic empowerment rules, South African companies are required to meet quotas on black ownership, employment and procurement as part of a drive to reverse decades of exclusion under apartheid.
Speaking to Bongani Bingwa, African National Congress (ANC) Pule Mabe says while they understand that the right to strike is protected by the Constitution:
Our own understanding has been that this share scheme that has been proposed, is one that seeks to deal with income inequalities within the Sasol environment.— Pule Mabe, ANC spokesperson
CEO of Solidarity Dirk Hermann also spoke to Bingwa and says the scheme is not about income inequalities.
The fact of the matter is if you look at the specific scheme, the core of the argument is already resolved in South Africa, we had a whole process of at the negotiations of the mining charter when all parties were involved and Sasol must adhere to the mining charter because they are under the charter because of the coal mines.— Dirk Hermann, CEO of Solidarity
He says they resolved the matter of the charter, saying workers are workers and you don't discriminate on the grounds of race.
Listen below to the full interview: