Workers at Capital Oil Refining Industries (CORI) on Saturday July 23, 2011 were seen scrambling to get forms to fill in so that they should become members of Hotels, Food Processing and Catering Workers Union (HFPCWU) saying the Union has come at the right time when there are some important issues that need to be addressed.
Most of the workers at the company showed interest to the ideologies of the Union saying that for a long time they have been in darkness without knowing their rights and how to address some problems at work.
“The union has come to us at the right time and we are very happy that we will now have somewhere to present our problems for the right approach when the need arises,” said one of the workers.
The CORI workers went on to say that there are a lot of challenges at the company that need to be looked upon hence thanking the Union for coming in on the right time.
“There are a lot of things which are not favourable for workers for example those who work on fortnight are in deep trouble because they are not taken as permanent workers and on some ocassions they easily lose their jobs. I know the goodness of being a member of the Union I am the first person to welcome this development with both hands,” said another worker.
However, the Personnel and Administration Manager for CORI Evis Chikapa dismissed the claims saying that all working on fortnight are also taken as permanent workers.
He then said that CORI is the company that respects the rights of workers by giving them freedom to associate with various groups that deal with work related issues.
“If there are groups that want to help our workers in any other way we accept them to do so and we also allow our workers to join different groups if they are interested that is why we allowed HFPCWU to meet workers here because we respect the Employment Act,” said Chikapa.
Chikapa added that he is ready to work with the Union as long as it engages the workers in civic education so that they should understand their rights and responsibilities at their work place.
General Secretary for HFPCWU Shakespeare Sesani expressed satisfaction with the response given by the workers at CORI.
“As you can see, workers were scrambling to get forms saying they desperately want to become members of the Union which is a welcome development and it gives us strength,” said Sesani.
Concurring with Sesani, HFPCWU organiser Rashid Majawa said he sees a bright future of the Union at CORI.
“We have received an overwhelming response at CORI and we are happy to say that we have exceeded 20 percent of our membership,” said Majawa.
Currently over 50 people have signed membership forms while other 90 forms were requested for by the CORI workers.