Unisa Workers Protest Over Unpaid Wages

Disgruntled Catering workers at Unisa have staged a protest after not receiving their payments for nearly two years. They say that the university promised to employ them on a permanent basis but has since failed to do so.



The University of South Africa found its self in the middle of a labour dispute as angered workers staged a sleep-in at its OR Tambo building in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

The workers claim that have not been paid for close to two years. One of the workers states that due to her current circumstances, it has been difficult to make ends meet or even afford basic necessities.

The South African Workers Union (SAWU), which represents the workers, criticized the University for failing to absorb the workers into permanent employment as it had promised earlier this year.

These workers are of the 108 workers that were fighting alongside all cleaners and security guards to be made permanent in this university and out of that, only 28 catering workers were taken permanently. So we saying why not employ all of them. 

One union official told reporters that some of the employees have been working on a temporary basis since 2016 adding that the university gives them different excuses whenever they raise the issue.

The workers were previously employed through a company contracted by Unisa until Unisa Enterprise took over, upon which it agreed that they would be made permanent. However, the agreement was not honoured. 

As it stands, the SAWU and Unisa are currently holding a discussion on the way forward. In response, Unisa Enterprise representative Mxolisi Mavumengwana says that they are working towards an amicable resolution on the matter.

He admits that they had agreed to employ the workers permanently and says that they are currently in the process of interviewing some of the staff members.


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