UCT workers protest conditions

11 May 2009

workers march Marching on: Staff and students joined forces to march on Bremner Building to protest the working conditions of outsourced workers at UCT.

Staff and students marched on Bremner Building on 30 April to hand over a petition and grievance letters against the "exploitation" of outsourced workers at UCT.

Protesters called for the vice-chancellor, Dr Max Price, but eventually handed over the petition, with over 3 800 signatures, to John Critien, executive director of Properties and Services. Their demands included a minimum wage of R4 500, and benefits such as medical aid and subsidised tuition for these workers' children.

"UCT claims to 'strive towards ending the legacy of apartheid' and 'to promote equal opportunity and the full development of human potential'," protest organisers, the UCT Student Workers' Alliance, said in a statement.

"This is clearly not being adhered to when workers struggle to make ends meet and are intimidated by company management."

In a recent letter to UCT staff and students, Price said that all employees of UCT service providers were paid at the Supplemented Living Level (SSL), which is "considerably higher than the minimum living levels."

Price wrote: "In 2009 the SLL set a monthly minimum wage of R3 491.35. The average minimum in the market is R2 100. The SLL rate is thus 70% above the monthly minimum wage levels".

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Monday Monthly

Volume 28 Edition 07

11 May 2009

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