[lg policy] South Africa: Trade unions Solidarity and the University of Pretoria Workers Organisation (UPWO) have threatened to withdraw their members if the suspensions of four EFF students are lifted.

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Tue Mar 8 16:19:17 UTC 2016


 University of Pretoria spokesperson Anna-Retha Bouwer said the suspensions
had not been lifted.

Trade unions Solidarity and the University of Pretoria Workers Organisation
(UPWO) have threatened to withdraw their members if the suspensions of four
EFF students are lifted.



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Johan Botha, deputy general secretary of the professional industry at
Solidarity, said that UP management was promoting a culture of impunity and
violence by allowing the suspended students to return to campus. "It is
becoming increasingly simple to get your own way through violence. Such a
culture of impunity allows violence and disruptions to prevail instead of
constructive dialogue and negotiation," said Botha.

"University management has given an undertaking to ensure the safety of our
members on campus. However, due to the decision to allow violent students
back on campus, staff is once again being exposed to potentially unsafe
working conditions."

University of Pretoria spokesperson Anna-Retha Bouwer said the suspensions
had not been lifted.

"The suspended students have been allowed to return to their classes while
the disciplinary process is concluded. The suspensions have not been
lifted. Initially they could not enter campus, but now they will be able to
do so," she said.

Botha said the two unions would advise their members not to go to work
should the suspended students take part in or incite any further violent
actions on campus and, by doing so, compromise the safety of their members.

"Should we feel as unions that the employer has failed to provide a safe
working environment, we will advise our members not to go to work," he
said.

Last month, there were clashes at the institution when students demanded a
change in the language policy.

Twenty-seven people were arrested for public violence and they appeared in
court. Charges against three of them were dropped, leaving 24 students to
stand trial. Their case was postponed to April 7. The university was closed
for a week due to the protests. The trade unions have demanded that
management should ensure the long-term safety of their members. A meeting
was held over the weekend where the university and student leaders signed a
pledge of peaceful engagement.

Bouwer said during the meeting, an agreement was reached to peacefully
engage in a manner that respected one another, regardless of differences.

"Representatives from all student groups signed a pledge to mutual peaceful
engagement, which included an apology for the recent violent events and the
impact these have had on the university’s reputation," she said.

"They also undertook to refrain from any further acts of violence and
uphold the reputation of the university. Discussions on a more inclusive
institutional culture and language policy will continue.  A clear plan with
timelines for further engagement on transformation was agreed to by all."

http://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2016/03/07/Tuks-unions-threaten-strike-if-suspension-of-EFF-students-is-lifted


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