Satawu takes RAF offer to members

South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (SATAWU) has completed the third day of negotiations at the Road Accident Fund (RAF) with an undertaking to take the latest salary increase offer to members. SATAWU is at this point not disclosing the percentage as negotiations are at a sensitive stage. However, both parties agreed to labour consulting members on whether to accept the offer. Consultations will take place early next with the final feedback planned for mid-week. Salary negotiations at RAF were set for three days starting Wednesday.

For more information contact:
Zanele Sabela, SATAWU Media Officer
079 287 5788 / 011 403 2077/    

How to submit an enquiry for unclaimed retirement funds

Fin24 reports that the Financial Services Board is at the ready to provide support to claim billions of rands in outstanding benefits owing to former mineworkers. It is that there is R10bn of unclaimed former mineworkers’ retirement benefits in various pension and provident funds, with some dating back to the 1970s. The FSB assists members or beneficiaries in trying to trace benefits or shares of allocated surpluses they believe to be due to them if provided with relevant and sufficient information. Before approaching the FSB, individuals who believe that they are entitled to unclaimed benefits should directly contact the respective retirement fund in order to establish whether they have any benefits attributable to them.

The details of the fund can be obtained from the member’s employer at the time. If the enquirer wishes to complain about the non-payment of a benefit that was due and payable during the last three years, the Pension Fund Adjudicator should be approached for assistance. Should individuals experience difficulties in contacting the retirement fund directly, they must submit an enquiry form together with certain supporting. Once the documents are received, the FSB will contact the fund with the enquiry and provide them with 30 days to respond to the query. There is also a section of the form that can be completed by individuals to assist family and friends with lodging an enquiry with the FSB.

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Cosatu demonstrators demand Absa pay back apartheid bailout

eNCA reports that Cosatu marched to Abuses’ headquarters on Thursday and asked the bank to pay back to R2.5-billion bailout it got from the Reserve Bank during the apartheid era. Cosatu’s additional reason for its demonstration is that it accuses ABA of charging exorbitant banking fees and says this should stop. The labour federation also wants the bank to come clear on reports that it is involved in collusion with two other South African banks and several international institutions.

The Competition Commission on Wednesday said it has been investigating a case of price-fixing and market allocation in the trading of foreign currency pairs involving the rand since April 2015. The case has been referred to the tribunal for prosecution.

Unpaid cast, crew of ‘Sarafina’ go on strike

IOL News reports that musical spectacle and Broadway classic Sarafina has been hit by a payment muddle after unpaid cast and crew refused to perform. The actors of the new and revived 80s hit refused to go to the stage for their daily performance of the remake of Mbongeni Ngema’s musical from Wednesday, forcing the South African State Theatre (SAST) to cancel all shows until Sunday. The issues stemmed from a payment dispute where it is alleged the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) and Committed Artists, a South African theatre company, have not paid what is owed to the production.

Mkhize indicated that although Sarafina was not a State Theatre production, the fact that it was being presented there had serious implications for the theatre’s reputation. He said they would continue monitoring the discussions between the department and Committed Artists and apologised for all inconvenience caused. This is not the first time Ngema has been embroiled in a payment dispute. In December 2012, dancers Ngema contracted for the Siyagiya Cultural Extravaganza were not paid the amounts promised to them. This saw them spending the festive period out of pocket. Ngema’s spokesperson at the time said the money promised to them by the National Lottery was paid later than expected and payments would be made in full.

by Nomaswazi Nkosi

SADTU to have a Career Guidance Expo in Limpopo

Close to 2000 Grade 12 learners from the Sekhukhune Region and the surrounding areas in Limpopo will be provided with an opportunity of learning about post-matric career options during a two-day Career Guidance Expo organised by the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU). The expo is part of fulfilling SADTU’s 2030 Vision of creating a learning nation. It is also part of the Union’s commitment to the Education Accord, and Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign (QLTC).

It is about imparting knowledge and information to learners – more especially from disadvantaged backgrounds – seeking to study further, by providing materials and information to assist them in making better career choices. Limpopo is the first of five provinces the Union will target this year to host these Expos. Students from Wits University, University of Johannesburg and Tshwane University of Technology will give first hand information on what learners need to do to apply at these institutions. They will also share testimonies about life at tertiary institutions. 

•    Date: 20 April -21 April, 2017, Thursday
•    Time: 09h00
•    Venues: Matsepe Primary School (Tafelkop) and Moreku High School (Phokwane)

Nehawu strike imminent at Rhodes University

eNCA reports that Rhodes University said on Wednesday it had received notification from the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) of its intention to embark on a three-day protected industrial action over wages. Rhodes said Nehawu’s planned action would take the form of lunch hour picketing Thursday and Friday, while next week Tuesday, the union would embark on a march to the Great Hall where a memorandum would be handed over to management.

The planned action follows a deadlock in wage negotiations. The union rejected a revised offer of a five percent salary adjustment for 2017. The university said its Vice Chancellor, Dr Sizwe Mabizela said the university respected the workers’ right to strike and would engage the union leaders to resolve the impasse.

Ref: ANA

COSATU Gauteng to march to ABSA Head Office tomorrow

The Congress of South African Trade Unions will be marching on the 20th April 2017, to Absa Officesto handover a memorandum of demands following the bank’s involvement in a number of controversial activities that are detrimental to the wellbeing of the country’s economy. The march will start atJohannesburg City Hall from 13H0 to ABSA Head Office.

The commission that was investigating a case of price fixing and market allocation in the trading of foreign currency pairs involving the Rand since April 2015 found that from at least 2007, the 17 banks including Investec Ltd, ABSA Bank Limited (ABSA), and Standard Bank had a general agreement to collude in relation to currency trading involving US Dollar / Rand currency pair. Members of retirement funds lost billions of rands of their assets through such manipulation of our currency. These are the only savings of workers and yet bank executives have faced no prosecution.

For more information
Dumisani Dakile (Provincial Secretary)
COSATU Gauteng Province
Tel: +27 11 403-0990
Mobile: +27 82 727 1422

Satawu starts salary negotiations at RAF

The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union embarked on salary negotiations at the Road Accident Fund (RAF) today. SATAWU represents 1 250 out of the total 2 200 workers at RAF. A three-day session ending 21 April is set to finalise the salary negotiations. SATAWU is determined to obtain the best deal for its members despite speculation that the Road Accident Fund is in a dire financial situation.

The following are some the demands workers have mandated us to pursue:
  15% across-the-board salary increase
  13th cheque
  RAF to raise its contribution towards employees’ medical aid from 50% to 80%
  RAF to set-up its own medical aid scheme that will provide cover for employees beyond retirement

For more information contact:
Zanele Sabela, SATAWU Media Officer
079 287 5788 / 011 403 2077

NUM has declared a dispute with Evander Gold Mine

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has declared a dispute with Evander gold Mine last week after the employer refused to implement the both the VSP and retrenchment agreement. During our engagements with the company the number of affected employees was reduced from 976 to 650, with regards to VSP agreement there are 656 employees who have applied for VSP but the employer has only approved 154 and denied the rest. The employer’s reasons are not justifiable.

With regard to retrenchment agreement, the employer is refusing to apply avoidance measures as per the agreement. The NUM agreed with the company it will start with Voluntary Separation Package and redeployment to other mines to reduce the number of affected employees.The intention of the employer is to retrench without meaningful engagement. The NUM has now declared a dispute with the CCMA.

For more information, please contact:
Stanley Lebelo: NUM Highveld Regional Secretary: 082 933 7586
Bongani Tshabalala: NUM Highveld Organiser: 079 518 4774
Livhuwani Mammburu: NUM National Spokesperson: 083 809 3257

Bus strike over as unions sign 9% wage deal

EWN reports that the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and two other unions have reached an agreement with employers, ending the bus strike. It’s been confirmed that the National employers Association has agreed on a 9% wage increase. The Transport and Allied Workers Union of South Africa and the Transport and Allied Workers Union have signed the deal along with Satawu.

Earlier on Friday, Autopax confirmed it reached an agreement with Translux and City to City bus services, ending a strike at the company. Thousands of commuters were left stranded around the country when wage talks deadlocked earlier this week.  Autopax, which incorporates Translux and City to City bus services, says its agreement with unions Satawu and National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) allows for an 8.5% salary hike for bus drivers.

by Ray White