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Company allegedly makes workers sleep in the office to avoid WC taxi strike

Company allegedly makes workers sleep in the office to avoid WC taxi strike

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Capita, a UK telecommunications firm with offices in Cape Town, has been accused of pressuring its employees to sleep on office floors to avoid the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) strike.

A text message is making the rounds on social media and was allegedly sent by the contact centre business to its workers.

“Dear Capita colleague, due to the uncertain nature of the Cape Town Strike tomorrow, to ensure your safety, we will be allowing colleagues to enter our premises from 19h00,” the message reads.

The company allegedly also asked employees to bring “comfortable clothing, toiletries and blankets.”

Company allegedly makes workers sleep in the office to avoid WC taxi strike

Online videos and images show people huddled and sleeping on the floor of what appears to be an office. Social media users have accused the company of having a toxic work culture and prioritising productivity over ethical treatment of its employees.

But @capita @RonaldLamola @deptoflabour you guys should not be okay with this. Capita is not a South African company and even local companies have resorted to this inhumane and unethical practice. As Justice and Labour departments something must be done to stop this. pic.twitter.com/3G72Nd6O2g

— AneleBot (@Blackma97696168) November 21, 2022

EFF Cape Metro has condemned the alleged actions by Capita. The political party said the call centre gave its workers the illusion of having a choice in the matter of going to sleep on the premises.

“If employees who are affected by the taxi strike do not come to work, their days off will not be regarded as leave and they will not be paid. This is despite the fact that the taxi strike is beyond their control and that other means of transport are also affected by the strike.”

The EFF said these workers are vulnerable and are forced to spend the night in the office or face unpaid leave. Due to the constant increase in rates, high inflation and the rise of food prices, workers are left with no option but to comply with their work’s demands, they said.

“This inhumane treatment is the grossest violation of human rights and human dignity of workers and should never be condoned in the Cape Metro Region. To trick employees into believing that they have an option to sleep at work while you place conditions that will force them to sleep in a non co-operative environment must never be allowed.”

Meanwhile, the Western Cape Government (WCG) denounced the acts of violence that occurred on Tuesday, as the taxi industry entered its second day of shut down.

The WCG said the taxi industry’s actions are unacceptable and show a blatant lack of regard for the rights of innocent commuters and citizens after profiting from a substantial pilot investment in the taxi industry.

“The WCG respects the rights of the minibus taxi industry to shut down, but criminal acts and wanton violence are unacceptable, and the WCG will pursue all options to deal with this behaviour.

“The WCG ran the Blue Dot pilot programme with the minibus industry to demonstrate that formalisation and improved driver behaviour is possible at a significant cost of R215 million for 800 minibus taxis in the pilot. It was a success and a game-changer for the industry.”

Cape Argus

Original Article

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