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SARPA takes Boland to court

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After issuing an ultimatum to Boland on Friday and receiving no response, the South African Rugby Players Association (SARPA) has decided to take legal action against the union.


The ultimatum was until three o’clock on Friday, and entailed the stoppage of Boland’s exorbitant pressure on players to sign contracts immediately and the commencement of two-way negotiations.


When three o’clock passed, SARPA turned to their advocate.


Chief Executive of SARPA, Piet Heymans, speaking to this website described Boland’s actions this week as “horrific”.


SARPA is upset over Boland’s dealings with their players since they had their sponsorship cut after Fidentia was placed under curatorship owing to irregularities.


First the union cut 23 players in a clandestine meeting, after which the excess players were asked to leave immediately.


And now Boland is threatening that if the remaining players do not sign new contracts right away they will be cut from the side immediately.


Heymans told this website that Schalk Burger Snr and Chris Foure flew to Durban on Friday, hours before Boland take on the Natal Wildebeest, in order to place pressure under the players to sign before they take the field.


One unnamed player has already pulled out of the match.


“They are raping the rights of the players. This is absolutely atrocious, and we will launch an interdict on Monday to stop this.


“The players have been willing to negotiate – they understand that there is no longer any money.


“But they are humans, and Boland’s actions have been inhumane. Their way of doing business is decrepit.”


Boland have claimed that Fidentia through its subsidiary Playco is liable for the players contracts, but Heymans dismisses this as rubbish.


“The courts will look at what has been the practice in which the contracts have been carried out, not a piece of paper. The players have been playing for Boland, running out in Boland jerseys and the Boland Rugby Union issue their pay-slips.


“The fixed contracts actually do not allow for any retrenchments, but the players were willing to come to the table and negotiate. Boland were not so forthcoming. You cannot hold a meeting and just announce a new squad and tell the excess players to just leave.


“And now they cannot place players under such duress and expect them to sign. They are flouting the laws of the Labour Relations Act.”


According to Heymans, Boland are manipulating the predicament of the players to cover their own interests, by forcing them to sign contracts which will not guarantee players’ financial security. A court interdict is aimed to put a stop to this, and commence new negotiations.


“We will also take up the case of the excess players who were cut from the squad earlier this week.”


365 Digital

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