Protest in Knysna industrial area

Employees of Jeeves Heated Towel Rails in Meubel Street, Knysna industrial area, gather to hear what NUMSA union official Gerrit Willemse has to say. Photo: Stefan Goosen

KNYSNA NEWS FLASH & VIDEO - Employees of Jeeves Heated Towel Rails in Meubel Street, Knysna industrial area have been protesting outside of the company’s building since last week due to a disagreement with the management.
According to Gerrit Willemse, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) union official, the Jeeves employees were asked to leave the premises last week Wednesday, April 12, after they requested that management drop disciplinary charges laid against two of their colleagues.
Willemse said that charges of misconduct, among others, were laid against the two workers after they “acted on behalf of the other employees” during a meeting held between management and the employees on March 23. He added that management maintained the workers acted in their individual capacity.
He added that a disciplinary hearing was held on April 13 for these two workers without them being present or being represented by a union official.
Today, April 19, when the Knysna-Plett Herald (KPH) visited the premises, Jeeves employees were protesting peacefully in Meubel Street while Willemse and other shop stewards negotiated a way forward with Jeeves management.
“The workers want the charges against their colleagues to be dropped completely. At present we must decide if we will participate in further disciplinary hearings to be held on Friday or next week Monday, or if the employees will continue to protest outside,” said Willemse.
Jeeves management spokesperson Leigh Cole from K&S labour law practitioners told the KPH today that although the protest action outside their premises is illegal, it is still well controlled.
“We are currently engaging with the union representative and want to ensure people everything is under control and there is no reason for concern. We will be able to release more information next week,” she said.
Watch a video of the strike, below:

Gerrit Willemse, union official of NUMSA, addresses Jeeves employees outside their premises in Meubel Street, Knysna Industrial. Next to him in yellow is Khayalethu Jaji, shop steward at Jeeves. Photo: Stefan Goosen.
More information to follow as it becomes available.
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