Dear Heineken management

Monday 6th August 2018

Dear Heineken management,

Attached you will find a petition signed by those of us that are tired of being abused and humiliated by IMS (Imperial Managed Solutions) and their managers. We write to you because we are workers of Heineken, some of us were actually already at Sedibeng when the brewery opened, hired directly by Sedibeng Brewery. Imperial found us here, and since they came things have been going from bad to worse. We write to you in the hope you will restore justice and equality in line with your code of conduct.

Recently we have tried to engage IMS to improve things. Unfortunatly, despite our best intentions we have been met with insults and victimisations. In a meeting on the 27 of July, Lucky Kolobe refused to address the issues. When our representatives (wrongly represented by Lucky Kolobe as CWAO representatives) pointed to the fact they wanted to address the issues they were told to “shut up”. We subsequently had to leave the meeting. Sadly this is only the latest event in a long list of agression and disrespect.

Previously our members have been called to disciplinary meetings for attending a meeting (11/06/2018) on their lunchtime. Representatives have also been dismissed for simply representing the voice of the workers. The case has been put to the labour court for victimisation. This follows a process at the CCMA where IMS has been raising procedural points and refusing to actually address the issue. One of the points they raise is that they “don’t know” the workers who refered the case. Despite these workers being at work with us every day.  At every step we have been met with contempt, paternalism, disrespect, insults and victimisation.

The reality is that IMS is only interested in exploiting us. When we say our representatives can’t be vicitimised for representing us, Lucky Kolobe says Heineken doesn’t want them. When we ask for stable contracts and basic working conditions for project workers, they say they need to ask Heineken. When we couldn’t meet quotas at dispatch they said we had to implement “the Heineken system”. To us these few examples show that IMS does neither want to engage with us nor do they have the power to. We work at Heineken Sedibeng, we work with Heineken beers. We believe that it is only under Heineken that we can come back to justice and respect.

When Imperial came, wages went down. Different workers are paid different wages even when we do the same job. We are forced to work overtime because we earn too little. Also when they call us to work on weekends, we have no choice but to accept or get in trouble. If we had only one employer we would not receive contradictory instructions anymore, like the other workers at Heineken we would be protected from abuse and treated equally. We could simply discuss our issues with mutual respect.

IMS doesn’t even want us to have a voice. If you recall our letter dated 15th February 2018, we already reported being locked in, our representatives being dismissed and our advisers being intimidated. These attacks on our freedom of association have not stopped, to the contrary as we just explained. We believe only Heineken would respect our rights

We can’t keep accepting misery wages, abuse and disrespect. We want our rights to be respected, we work at Heineken for Heineken. Please put a stop to IMS’ rule of terror and abuse. Over 200 of us have decided to speak up, enough is enough.

Seen the urgency of our situation and growing discontent of our members, we would be grateful for a response by the start of next week.

The Heineken Workers Council

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