South Africans always seem to have a negative story to share about our employers. Yet most of those pale in comparison to Stephen Mwelase’s incredibly tough journey to permanent employment at breakfast giant, Kellogg’s.
Kellogg’s has been a staple in most South African homes for decades.
For nearly 4 of those decades, Stephen Mwelase has been toiling at the Kellogg’s plant in Springs.
It is almost unthinkable that he missed out on more than 50% of his salary and company bonuses for 39 years due to his employment status as a casual worker.
Earlier this year, Mwelase and 115 of his colleagues won a legal battle with Kellogg’s and he was appointed as a permanent employee on 2 August 2018.
Previously, the casual workers were employed by Adcorp Blu labour brokers.
However, they received a much lower hourly rate and annual bonuses in comparison to their permanent counterparts.
The case was built on a 2015 ruling that employees employed for more than 3 months should be entitled to the exact same perks as permanent staff members.
To say that Mwelase’s upgrade was long overdue is a dramatic understatement.
In another unexpected twist, he was retrenched a week later, along with the other 115 casual workers.
Kellogg’s eventually clarified their position and advised the retrenchment was necessary due to corporate re-structuring but that 51 of the affected workers would indeed receive permanent job offers.
Today, Briefly.co.za is proud to report that Stephen Mwelase has now signed a permanent employment contract at Kellogg’s – as shared by the Casual Workers Advice Office.
The long overdue change in status, results in an hourly rate change from R20 to R72,64 per hour.
While many celebrated the victory, others have criticised the employer’s stance over the years and labelled it as exploitation.
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