Former Dippin Blu Racing horse grooms in Port Elizabeth will have to wait another week for the outcome of a Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) hearing to determine whether they can claim unemployment benefits.
The CCMA proceedings were meant to take place on Friday but were postponed for the CCMA to make a decision in limine (a preliminary technical legal point to be argued in the case).
Representing the former grooms, Malibongwe Kayana, provincial secretary of the Democratised Transport Logistics and Allied Workers Union, said, “The case could not take place today because we are waiting for a point in limine. We took over the case in April, but the lockdown delayed it. The complaint was late by three months [according to CCMA rules]. We will get the judgment within seven working days.”
The group took their dismissals to the CCMA in March. However, they decided to drop the complaint so they could apply for payments from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), which they couldn’t do if the case was pending at the CCMA. In September, they discovered the department of labour’s system showed they had absconded from work, making them ineligible for UIF payments.
the grooms reopened their CCMA complaint. The violent protest stemmed from an incident in February when a worker injured a horse. The stable owner said the worker stabbed the horse in the neck, but the grooms have disputed this, saying the worker mistakenly cut a horse’s ear during grooming.
The workers said they pleaded with the owner not to fire their colleague “because that mistake could happen to all of us”. In the ensuing dispute, the worker and 39 others were fired.
- Originally published by GroundUp