Police were deployed to the entrance gate of Goseame Fresh Produce Open Market in Silicon Street where some angry employees embarked on a strike demanding Managing Director Vincent Potloane to step down yesterday (Wednesday) morning.
The majority of the employees were picketing in front of the entrance gate while others were conducting business as usual in the building. Allegations were made that employees did not receive bonuses in December and that annual increases are margined almost 3% less than the previous year.
“Goseame is supposed to be all about black empowerment but we get mistreated and discriminated against. No bonuses, less increase, no respect and unfair dismissals must fall. Potloane must fall,” picketers demanded. One of the unhappy employees alleged that since 2012 when the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) intervened in the operations of Goseame, we have not been working pleasantly. “We want another Managing Director.”
Goseame Industrial Relations Officer Manti Malakalaka confirmed that employees are unhappy about among other issues increases and bonuses.
“Due to the current economic situation countrywide we cannot afford increases and bonuses but we are willing to negotiate with employees and representatives of their unions in an effort to reach an agreement,” she said.
At the time of going to print Goseame management was still awaiting employees and union representatives to indicate when a meeting can be set up.
NEF Limpopo branch referred the publication to their head office in Johannesburg where it was said that no one in their marketing and communications office was available to comment.
In 2012 Goseame was sold in a BEE-transaction and a part of the terms was that the original owners would remain involved in the business for 12 months, where after the transaction would be finalised at the end of July 2013. Everything did not go according to plan and the financiers, NEF had to intervene. Negotiations between the original owners and the NEF to rescue the transaction with the exclusion of the original purchaser were then successful and the purchase finalised.
Story and photo: RC Myburgh
Featured photo: Employees of Goseame engaging in protest action yesterday (Wednesday) to show their dissatisfaction with Managing Director Vincent Potloane, bonuses, increases and alleged discrimination in the workplace.