protestThe New Age reports that three unions on Wednesday demanded that AEL Mining Services put to an end to what they claimed were practices of "exploitation, discrimination and oppression".  AEL is a subsidiary of the AECI Group.

Close to a 1,000 members of the General Industries Workers’ Union of SA (Giwusa), the SA Chemical Workers’ Union (Sacwu) and Ceppwawu marched to the AEL head office and handed over their demands to management.  Union representative John Appolis said:  "Workers are fed up with the exploitation, discrimination and oppression at the hands of AEL management.  One of the main sources of this exploitation and discrimination is the grading system."  He said workers were demanding the scrapping of all grades below grade 28 and went on to state:  "Black and white employees can do the same job but not earn the same.  Racism is especially alive in places like Kuruman and Witbank."  AECI's Fulvia Putero said the company “has, and will continue to have, an open door policy in dealing with its workers' legitimate concerns.  This includes allegations of racism."

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