Siboniso Mdletshe suspended by ABB - LIMUSA

Union says its President was not even afforded an opportunity to appear before an inquiry to respond to the allegations

LIMUSA President illegally suspended by is employer

11 September 2015

On the 9th September 2015 we received shocking news that the President of the Liberated Metalworkers Union of South Africa, comrade Siboniso Mdletshe was suspended by his employer, ABB with immediate effect. The company alleges that he committed gross misconduct by submitting union membership forms to ABB instead of submitting them to a supplier company and further alleges that he encouraged workers from these supplier companies to join LIMUSA and therefore cannot be trusted by the company (ABB).

This illegal suspension takes place just after our President intervened on behalf of workers who were being exploited by a labour broker. Comrade Mdletshe ensured that these workers benefit from the new dispensation of Labour Relations Act regarding labour brokers. It was clear that all forces that are opposed to workers’ rights were not going to take this defeat lying down. In their dingy corners and alleys, they plotted and schemed to remove this threat by all means necessary even if it meant transgressing of laws of the republic.

We refer to this suspension as illegal because the necessary disciplinary channels were not followed by the employer; comrade Mdletshe was not even afforded an opportunity to appear before an inquiry to respond to the allegations.

The charges against him are nothing but a desperate attempt by the employer colluding with our detractors to intimidate workers from joining LIMUSA. This unholy alliance between our enemies and the management of ABB which includes former NUMSA Chairperson in JB Bez Region in Gauteng, Mr Manganye who is now the industrial relations manager of ABB will be crushed by the mighty force of liberated metal workers who will not roll over when their President is being targeted.

This incident is not isolated from ongoing attacks directed at LIMUSA, its leaders and activists. In the same day that we received reports that our President was suspended by his employer, we were informed by our members that the Industrial Relations manager at Toyota SA in KwaZulu Natal has circulated an email outlawing all LIMUSA gatherings in the company and threatened charges to those who failed to comply with that order, in essence barring workers from exercising their constitutional right to belong to and participate in the activities of the union of their choice.

To us this is nothing but a concerted attack at LIMUSA as union. Further, this is an attack on the fundamental rights of workers which are enshrined in the constitution of the republic.

We are convinced that the common denominator in these incidences is collaboration of NUMSA and the bosses to destroy LIMUSA. Nonetheless, we remain unshaken in our revolutionary task to build this only home of metalworkers.

Statement issued by Cedric Sabelo Gina, LIMUSA General Secretary, September 11 2015