Huawei seeks urgent resolution to Joburg driver protest

2017-05-18 16:15 - Kyle Venktess, Fin24
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Huawei. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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Johannesburg - Huawei in South Africa says its labour service provider, which dismissed temporary workers via SMS on Tuesday, is dealing with the matter.

In response, outsourced drivers blockaded Grayston Drive in Sandton, stalling traffic for hours, while protests continued on Wednesday. 

Huawei told Fin24 on Thursday the drivers who blocked the main road were employed by Adcorp Blu, a temporary employment service provider which supplies assignees to Huawei.

Adcorp Blu dismissed 47 of its employees on 16 May for not complying with an interdict preventing them from engaging in unprotected industrial action. 

The protest was related to changes in Huawei’s outsourced transport system - from various separate service providers to one fleet management company. 

“Huawei had to make a difficult business decision. Transport is not a core business function, that is why we used an outsourced model, including labour, but it was too cumbersome with many services providers. This resulted in administrative and financial inefficiencies,” said Christina Naidoo, COO of Huawei Technologies Africa.

READ: Huawei vows to shake up business for tougher 2017

An agreement could not be reached and the drivers have engaged in unprotected industrial action since mid-March, affecting the surrounding community and Huawei’s business operations. 

“We regret the inconvenience to commuters, residents and business partners,” the company said.

On March 31, the Labour Court granted an interim order, prohibiting outsourced workers from further protests on public roads. It also barred any intimidation of Huawei staff and the illegal occupation of Huawei offices/operations. 

Huawei management is in contact with Adcorp Blu and urges both the employer and employees to attempt to resolve the issues amicably.

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