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Thread: Resigned, pls read. Advice/opinions wanted.

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    Exclamation Resigned, pls read. Advice/opinions wanted.

    Hi, I resigned from my job under constructive dismissal, this is my story,

    I'd just like opinions, and maybe some advice on what to expect at the ccma etc,if anyone might know, and what are serious things to elaborate on, I have referred the matter to the ccma, am having a con-arb early June.

    I'll try to make it as short as possible.

    I have been working as an apprentice jeweller for 18mnths,I have a bully type of boss,who is short tempered & manipulative, I have taken a lot of things on the chin as I went along & just tried to make the most out of my situation.

    I suffered 2nd degree burns on my hand& wrist because of broken equipment, no u.i.f , no employment contract, unsafe& dangerous working environment. broken hosing,connected to acetlyne tanks, smoking all the time indoors in a confined area near to tanks, no safety equip. inadequate first aid kit.

    Old & useless extinguisher.no ventilation. i wrote him a letter stating i want better working conditions, I want the smoking to stop etc, a contract, u.i.f, payslips , how I run errands for them using my car and am not re-imbursed with fuel. He told me that he has been paying my uif, but hasn’t been taking it off my wage, but now he will start taking it off my wage, I was victimised and he threatened me the entire day. Saying things like his tools are very expensive, and if something should go missing like a punch (a tool that is currently missing) I will be held liable.

    He threatened to take off money for missing filings(lost due to melting or process work) – he said items would be weighed before and after the job is done, and if there is metal missing, I will be liable. (he said he is going to put this in the contract he will have drawn up) he did not say that fillings lost due to process work, such a filing, sanding, melting would be taken into consideration. I almost feel as though I would be accused of stealing.

    He let me do private work when we were not busy or after hours if he stayed a bit late& encouraged me to buy a workshop for home, to earn extra money, he now says there will be none of that, I spent R23 000+ on my own workshop at home because of his encouragement and advice, but now that I have asked for a contract and payslips etc etc he is cross and has told me that I will not be allowed to do private work anymore nor am I allowed to have a workshop at home.

    I gave him the letter in the morning, and the whole day he intimidated me, he asked me why I am doing all of this (the letter of grievances) and I said because I need the issues to be addressed and I am very upset about my hand, I had bad burns from using broken equipment, and I was given money and told to go to the pharmacy (no i.o.d) on return I was expected to continue working in extreme pain.


    I brought this up (my hand)and spoke of how I am very upset at how the situation was handled and how it appears I am still expected to use the broken equipment. and he said he can’t help that I didn’t go to i.o.d, and that i.o.d is a part of uif.

    I later discovered he is not a member of iod and you have to have a number and information, you can’t just arrive there and it is not my responsibility, but the employers.

    I went to see a doctor the day of giving him my letter of grievances, I was in a state after being victimized the entire day and he was extremely concerned about my health. I have waves of nauseu, sleepless nights, I also am a stutterer, and due to this whole thing my speech has deteriorated even more. I was booked off work due to severe stress anxiety and exhaustion for 5 days. Soon thereafter when I realised I could not possibly return to work I resigned (under constructive dismissal). I felt like I could not go back because of the working conditions, the victimization and harrassment aswell as the fact that I got the distinct impression after I gave in my letter of concerns that he didnt want me to work for him anymore, and little things like I asked them to please stop smoking indoors, as they smoke right next acetlyine tanks with broken hosing indoors, there are no windows, and right after he and his wife (it is only us 3 working in the business) they started smoking again. Completely disregarding my concern and also I felt they were using this as a way to push me over the edge and just leave.

    I also forgot to mention he short pays me, he doesnt pay me for public holidays and when I ask for the money he short pays me, recently I was not paid for a public holiday i worked, I worked half day, when queering this I was told that I dont get paid for working on public holidays because I work half day. The following day I found money lieing on my desk, and it was about R30 short. I am not given notice for overtime, "she can f*ing work" at the time I’m meant to be leaving is my notification.

    He told me I don’t have to have an employment contract but if I want one I’ll get one and and that if i don’t like it he is not going to change it, he also said that he would not be sorting out ventilation (no windows no fresh air) as it is to expensive.

    I also don’t get a lunch break, I work from 8.30 to 4.30, he now says that I will work from 8 – 5 (unilaterally changing my working conditions with discussion) because I want a lunch break.)

    I have also been threatened with dimissal in front of a client over a petty mistake. He speaks to me in a very intimidating manner, I think the word harrassment is probably better, as when he is in a bad mood, something little can set him off and I often find myself being harrassed by him even about personal things.

    There's many other more trivial things to add to this, but I will probably run out of space.



    I resigned under constructive dismissal, and am awaiting a con-arb meeting at the CCMA.

    After resigning and sending my ccma info through to them and to the ccma, they have tried to contact me through neasa(something they just started using now, they werent members of neasa before) and their representative wanted to have a meeting and settle before the CCMA. She asked me what I want, as if money or something can just be thrown at me and I'll go away, unfortunately I feel that my employer needs to be made to be responsible as he has had many apprentices before me, some only worked one day, some a week, and never even returned to collect their weeks wage.

    I lasted 18 months, and here I am.

    Thank-you.

  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nilla View Post
    After resigning and sending my ccma info through to them and to the ccma, they have tried to contact me through neasa(something they just started using now, they werent members of neasa before) and their representative wanted to have a meeting and settle before the CCMA.
    I bet they do

    I'm not a fan of some aspects of the LRA, but the parts that protect employees from this kind of abuse I'm all for.

    I wouldn't recommend you meeting with the NEASA rep before the con-arb as you are likely to be pursuaded to accept something far less than you're reasonably entitled to. You are going to put some serious thought into what you want, though.

    Hopefully the members here will give you some of their views as to what you might shoot for.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Another thing, after I resigned, they paid me for two weeksm the week i was booked off, and the following week. They gave me a very basic payslip just basically the amount, and then I see they took off their UIF deductions aswell as mine. They took 2% off each weekly wage paid, I just want to confirm my deduction is only mean to be 1% ?

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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Constructive dismissal is one of the hardest cases for an employee to win. You will need to show that conditions were intolerable firstly and secondly that you attempted to address the issue. The second issue is often where most cases fall through. The first issue is often difficult to prove because any potential witnesses are still in employ and unlikely to be very helpful.

    Your verbal complaints will need proving (very hard) Although you wrote him a letter, you will need to have taken it up with a higher authority. Do not be over confident of winning. Unfortunately it is not always the truth or justice taht wins, it is the side that prepares best.You will need to prepare properly and concentrate on the 2 points mentioned earlier
    Anthony Sterne

    www.acumenholdings.co.za
    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

  5. Thank given for this post:

    AndyD (07-Jun-10), nilla (21-May-10)

  6. #5
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    "Your verbal complaints will need proving (very hard) Although you wrote him a letter, you will need to have taken it up with a higher authority."

    By this do you mean someone higher up in the business?
    He is the owner, and he is my boss, the only other employee is his wife.

    In terms of complaining to a bargaining council or something like that? We have none in the jewelry trade..

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Cool Vindictive...

    I must admit that I can be very vindictive. How does the saying go: "Revenge is a dish best served cold" This guy needs to have one of his Acetylene bottles explode (with a tiny bit of help) in his face.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    your post made my day.
    I dont know about revenge but i am certainly going to enjoy having my day in the ccma.

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    sooo.. i had my ccma meeting today,
    i wasnt allowed my lawyer in with me at concilliation.. but he could have his rep...
    but Anyway.. i got 4 months salary out of it, i got him to sign my apprentice log book then and there, and im getting an employment certificate..

    he said that he'd give me 4 months salary but he wants the jewellery manufacturing bench he gave me a year ago as well as two oxygen and acetlyine tanks (which were given to me by another goldsmith, he claimed he gave them to me.)

    so i said i want at least 4 months and i want to keep the things he gave me. Final.. otherwise its arbitration..... i reckon I could have gone to arbitration.. but his rep was a real pit bull and i dont know if i would have survived under her cross examining me..

    anyways im quite pleased, i did feel he got off a bit lightly however.. 4 months salary is a lot more than nothing, and i made him sweat..

    sooo quite pleased with the whole thing.. and now i can move on

  10. #9
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Talking Stunning

    Excellent, it is good to see the little guy...sorry Girl win. Shows you hey, you got a bigger pair than him, good on you!






    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    thanks.. it was pretty scary.. Especially when the concilliator told my lawyer he cant be present...but neway.. i guess there is life after ccma?.. i wasnt too sure at one stage.

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