NUM to protest against alleged racism at Afrisam

File: NUM said the protest action against Afrisam stems from three incidents involving different white employees, who referred to fellow black employees as ‘baboons’. Photo: Twitter / @Ride4Education1

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in Kimberley says on Monday it will embark on a protest against alleged racism at Afrisam, the cement manufacturer and supplier.

In a statement on Tuesday, NUM said the protest action “stems from three incidents involving different white employees, who referred to fellow black employees as ‘baboons’ and ‘goedere’ (things)”.

The union said instead of taking “drastic action against these perpetrators, the management chose to accept mere apology despite the fact that these perpetrators have admitted and have even been found guilty at the disciplinary hearings”.

The NUM alleged the company applies “different disciplinary processes for blacks and white” employees.

“Our leadership is being victimised left, right and centre and yet management applies the white supremacy gambit that protects white employees from being dismissed despite the degree of misconduct committed,” claimed the union.

The NUM said it was calling for the dismissal of eight Afrisam employees, who allegedly used racial slurs.

The union demanded the immediate dismissal of the alleged “racists”, whom they named. NUM also demanded the dismissal of two HR officials at Afrisam.

Commenting on the matter, AfriSam communication officer Maxine Nel rejected the allegations made by the union, saying: “AfriSam is a responsible corporate citizen that strives to conduct its business activities to the highest ethical standards, providing a workplace that cultivates mutual respect among its employees and promoting diversity in the workplace”.

Nel said Afrisam views allegations of conduct contrary to the company’s values “extremely seriously”. He said the company values the contribution of workers.

“AfriSam is aware of NUM’s intention to picket at AfriSam’s Ulco operation and this matter is currently receiving urgent attention from the Ulco operation’s management team as well as AfriSam’s executive committee,” said Nel.

African News Agency

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