COSATU makes presentation on PIC Amendment Bill

COSATU will present its submission and proposals to further strenghten the second PIC Amendment Bill to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance at 2pm Wednesday 15 August, Committee Room 1, 120 Plein Street, Parliament.

COSATU is pleased that Parliament has responded decisively and positively to our demands to protect workers’ GEPF, UIF and COIDA investments in the PIC.  This is workers’ hard earned money.  COSATU will stop at nothing to protect it from the many looting brigades that have fleeced our nation. COSATU urges Parliament to pass this bill as a matter of the highest urgency and before Parliament concludes its work in November.

COSATU to Present Proposals on Tackling Taxi Related Crimes

COSATU will present a joint COSATU POPCRU submission to the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Police on how to combat the never ending pandemic of taxi related crimes between 9am and 1pm, Wednesday 15 August, in Parliament. The taxi industry provides a key public good for millions of workers and commuters.  It is life line for the economy that most South Africans depend upon in the absence of reliable, serious or safe alternative public transport.

However it is an industry notorious from chaos, lawlessness, complete disregard for traffic, labour, tax, criminal and corruption laws.  Syndicates, criminals, gangs, money laundering, hit squads and rapes are frequent occurrences in the sector.  They make the daily commute to work and school a living nightmare for millions of workers, especially women and girls. Despite many laudable plans, to date government has been found badly wanting on dealing with this crisis of anarchy.

SACTWU strikes at National Chicks

The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU)  has commenced a protected wage strike at National Chicks in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The strike started last Thursday, 8 August 2018. A strike ballot was conducting amongst workers a month ago, in which 81%  of our 390 the union’s members had voted in favour of strike action.

SACTWU members are demanding a 10% wage increase, a 13th cheque and a production bonus. The farmer has offered 7% wage increase only. National Chicks is part of the Astrid Group which is the sister group of County Fair.

Union demands delay Eskom wage agreements

SABC News reports that Eskom was set to sign a wage agreement with striking unions on Thursday ending a strike that has lasted over two months, however a precondition set by labour unions has set back the signing of the agreement. The power utility has been engaged in wage negotiations with labour unions NUMSA, the NUM and Solidarity.

On Wednesday, the unions accepted the latest offer which includes a R10 000 once off payment to workers who fall under the bargaining unit plus a 7.5% salary increase this year and another 7% for 2019 and 2020. The unions however will only sign on the basis that those workers who were striking do not face disciplinary action. Eskom did not agree to this stipulation prompting the unions to request a meeting with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and the Eskom board. The CCMA has called on Eskom to allow the meeting to take place early next week.

Eskom negotiations deadlocked

BusinessLive reports that the Eskom wage negotiations deadlocked on Wednesday, just as workers accepted the power utility’s wage offer. Disagreement between the company and trade unions is now over Eskom’s decision to charge workers for sabotage, unlawful strike action and disruptions at power stations during recent labour unrest.  The illegal industrial action forced Eskom to implement load-shedding as plant operations were negatively impacted.

Eskom employees are not legally permitted to take part in strikes as their work is considered an essential service.  On Wednesday, unions were apparently ready to sign the wage deal that guarantees workers wage increases of 7.5% in 2018 and 7% for 2019 and 2020, with a once-off cash payment of R10,000.  Eskom also offered workers a consumer price index-linked housing allowance for three years.  Solidarity, accepted the wage offer last week.

by Theto Mahlakoana

Wednesday deadline looms for Eskom workers

eNCA reports that the proposal crafted by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) includes one-off cash payments of R10, 000. Pay talks hit a stumbling block after the cash-strapped power utility said it would not pay bonuses as part of the wage increase package.

Mineworkers union, the NUM, and metalworkers union Numsa are discussing the latest proposal with workers. Solidarity accepted an earlier agreement of R5,000 cash and a 7,5 percent increase for this year.

Eskom’s new wage offer

BusinessLive reports that Eskom workers have until Wednesday to accept or reject a new wage offer that includes one-off cash payments of R10,000. The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) was instrumental in crafting a settlement proposal in talks on Friday between the power utility and unions.  Talks had hit a stumbling block after the company said it would not pay bonuses as part of its wage increase package, with workers demanding 2% of their annual pay as bonuses.  According to the CCMA’s written proposal, wages would rise by 7.5% in 2018 and 7% in 2019 and 2020.

Housing allowances would be adjusted in line with inflation for the three-year period of the agreement.  However, the document stipulates that unions “reserve the legal right to challenge the non-payment of bonuses”.  The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) said they would be engaging with their members on the offer.  Last week Solidarity signed an earlier agreement tabled by Eskom that offered workers a cash payment of R5,000.  However, Solidarity members would still receive whatever increases are agreed to during the final settlement.  The CCMA hopes the deal will be signed on Wednesday.

by Theto Mahlakoana

Protracted strike at University of Fort Hare comes to an end

News24 reports that National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) members at the University of Fort Hare have agreed to end their protracted strike, despite not all their demands not having been met. The workers have been on strike for almost two months as they would not accept the university’s offer of a 7.5% salary increase, which they have now agreed on.  The union had been demanding an increase of 8% and a notch progression of 1%.

“We suspended the strike to allow the process of teaching and learning to continue.  We don’t want to be seen as selfish people who continue to fight for 0.5% whilst exams continue to be affected,” the union’s provincial secretary Miki Jaceni said on Sunday.  He added that, although they had settled for a lower figure and agreed to end the strike, they would continue engaging with the university and the Department of Higher Education and Training on other matters that were of concern to them.

by Sesona Ngqakamba

NUM is worried about retrenchments at Impala Platinum in Rustenburg

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) expressed shocked and anger towards Impala Platinum mine’s decision to retrench 13 000 mineworkers over a period of two years at its operations in Rustenburg. The decision to retrench 13 000 was reported in the media today and employees were not aware of this decison. NUM says that other alternatives should be explored, retrenchments must be last resort.

The NUM is concerned that when mining companies issue Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act they do not align it with Section 52 of the MPRDA 2002, which states the following: “The holder of a mining right must, after consultation with any registered trade union or affected employees or their nominated representatives where there is no such trade union, notify the Minister in the prescribed manner- (a) where prevailing economic conditions cause the profit to revenue ratio of the relevant mine to be less than six percent on average for a continuous period of 12 months; or (b) if any mining operation is to be scaled down or to cease with the possible effect that 10 percent or more of the labour force or more than 500 employees, whichever is the lesser, are likely to be retrenched in any 12-month period.”

Unions refuse to accept Eskom’s wage offer

eNCA reports that there’s still no end in sight to the protracted wage negotiations between Eskom and workers unions. This is despite trade union Solidarity accepting the company’s wage offer.  NUM and Numsa are digging in their heels and are not budging. Eskom said its latest offer is final.

Power supply has been hampered this past week following strikes by employees at power plants. The power utility is reporting acts of sabotage. The unions say they will not rest until their demands are met, and their actions may include a full-blown strike. Unions say employees will not accept that no bonuses will be paid when individuals at the company have enriched themselves unlawfully without any consequences.