Wilson Jona and Kudakwashe Watura, are both Zimbabwean citizens who lost their jobs as labourers at a construction company in Paarl, Cape Town, after they had asked for their overtime money.
Responding to questions from Elitsha, Dereck Daniels, owner of Daniels Betonwerke Construction Company confirmed that he had employed Jona and Watura and that he could no longer speak on the matter since their case has been addressed by the Building Industry Bargaining Council (BIBC).
“The guys had no permits so I sent them away. They lost the case at BIBC so I no longer want to entertain them,” says Daniels, quickly stopping the conversation and refusing to answer questions about their overtime payment.
“We had worked for one year and two months at this company. Our daily working hours were supposed to be nine hours but that was not the case most of the time. Instead most days we worked from 08h00 to 21h00,” said Watura, claiming that the company did not provide any transport home, though it was unsafe to travel at that time.
Nine African nationals workers approached Daniels asking for their overtime money and this resulted in them losing their jobs, according to Jona and Watura.
Jona and Watura are registered members of the BIBC and referred their case to BIBC when this happened. According to Jona, at BIBC they were referred from one office to another and later were referred to the Department of Labour. According to Jona the others decided to stop pursuing the case because they were afraid they could face deportation at anytime.
Meanwhile the Department of Labour has promised to assign an inspector once they get all details of the case.
This article first appeared and was published by Elitsha, Workers World Media Production (WWMP)’s news platform (www.wwmp.org.za/elitsha/home/), on 18 May 2017.