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Mustek strike: CEO, union leaders head for showdown talks

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A stand-off between security guards and Mustek employees.
A stand-off between security guards and Mustek employees.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is blaming Mustek for the continuing strike, as the parties prepare for another court showdown today. Mustek denies the CWU’s allegations.

The union has shifted the blame for the ongoing job stoppages to Mustek, accusing it of inciting the violent incidences recorded, saying the company was “rushing to courts” instead of engaging with employees for a solution.

The CWU claims Mustek filed another urgent court bid last night and the matter will be heard today at the High Court.

“They have approached courts once again last night seeking for another interdict; we are expected to appear before court today at 2pm, and we are not worried because there’s nothing new that will come out,” says CWU secretary general Aubrey Tshabalala.

Nicole Orr, national marketing executive at Mustek, denied the CWU’s allegations and remained mum on the latest court application, saying: “No comment.”

When asked about the allegations of violence as claimed by the CWU, Orr told ITWeb: “The question is nonsensical and accordingly we cannot comment.”

Orr says the almost week-long industrial action has impacted operations at Mustek.

“We are extremely disappointed that, in the current economic climate, our workers have sought to disrupt the business of our customers,” she adds.

Mustek management was forced to lockup its head office last Friday after three days of strike action by the CWU, which saw the company halt deliveries and collections.

Due to the growing tensions, Mustek then approached the High Court for relief, which the court granted.

The CWU and its members were interdicted and restrained from coming within 50m of the perimeter of Mustek.

The court also interdicted the union and restrained it “from in any way interfering with, threatening, harming or damaging, intimidating, harassing and/or assaulting any clients, customers, suppliers, vehicles, non-striking employees, replacement labourers and goods of Mustek”.

Despite the court clash, both Tshabalala and Orr confirm Mustek CEO David Kan will meet with CWU leaders today.

Among the demands the union wants Mustek to fulfil is a 30% share in the company’s profit and a 20% salary increase in the coming financial year-end.

The Mustek workers are also demanding a R3 000 housing allowance, saying: “Due to low income from Mustek, workers can no longer afford decent housing or rentals as the company keeps on imposing very low salary increases year in, year out.”

Furthermore, they are demanding a provident fund.

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