SACTWU says hands off our women and children

Thousands of members of the  COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) will be forming human chains today, in support of the “16 Days of Activism of No Violence Against Women & Children” campaign.

Western Cape:
Location: Epping,  Corner of Losack Avenue and Bofors Circle
Time: 12h30-14h00
Contact Person: Shiela Van Rensburg on 082 711 2563 or Angela Booysen on 082 343 1888

Gauteng:
Location: Seton (tanning factory),  No 15,  2nd Ave, Vorsterkroon, Nigel, 1490
Time: 13h00-13h30
Contact Person: Senzo Myeni on 072 365 2810

Kwa-Zulu Natal:
Location: 127 Magwaza Maphalala Street
Time:  12h00
Contact Person: Themba Ncogobo on 083 557 9976

Union turns up heat on Malusi Gigaba over PIC

BusinessLive reports that the Public Service Association (PSA) says it is pushing ahead with its planned court action against Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba over requested disclosures on the board appointment processes at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). This is despite Gigaba having replied to the trade union’s request for explanations on the application of the Public Investment Corporation Act when appointing board members.

In a letter, Gigaba wrote of his plans to meet public sector trade unions in January to discuss the governance issues at the PIC. He explained that the decision emanated from briefings by all involved parties to the standing committee on finance. However, the response by Gigaba did not tackle the specific issues raised in the letter of demand sent to him last week, the PSA’s deputy general manager, Tahir Maepa, said. Public sector unions are currently seeking ways to protect workers’ pension funds in light of fears the Treasury could use them for other purposes, including the bail-out of struggling state-owned companies. Meanwhile, the public sector unions interested in joining the court action will be meeting on Wednesday.

by Theto Mahlakoana

Cosatu KZN challenges private sector employers

Daily News reports that the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has challenged employers in the private sector not to use the economic downturn as an excuse not to pay their employees year-end bonuses. Provincial secretary Edwin Mkhize said:  “For many companies the first target when the economy is not doing well becomes the workers.  The point we wanted to emphasise to the Department of Labour is that employers must not be allowed to dodge paying bonuses to workers.

When the economy is hard hit, it’s the workers who end up suffering, particularly now that the festive season is upon us.  We are warning employers not to use the economy as an excuse not to pay workers their bonuses.”  He added that the festive season was often the only period when workers could spend quality time with their families.  Bonuses would help workers to budget for their children for the new year.  The federation also called for an amendment to the Labour Relations Act to penalise employers in the private sector who retrenched employees as an urgent measure to curb growing levels of job losses.

by Samkelo Mtshali

The strike has come to an end at Kangra Coal Mine

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is pleased to announce it has signed a 3-year wage agreement with Kangra Coal Mine last week Thursday after the NUM members embarked on a strike.

The parties agreed to the following wage increases:
2017: R600 ; 2018: 7%  ; 2019: 7%
Housing allowance – 2017: R1000, 2018: 12%, 2019: 14%

“The employer said the harmonisation of the housing allowance will be achieved in the next round of wage negotiations. The strike has come to end. The NUM members are back to work starting with the morning shift,” said Peter Bailey, NUM Chief Negotiator in the Coal Sector.

SATAWU TO TAKE TRANSNET WAGE OFFER TO MEMBERS

The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (SATAWU) is set to take Transnet’s final wage offer to members after the negotiation team flatly rejected the company’s initial offer at the Bargaining Council on Friday morning. On 6 November wage negotiations at the Transnet Bargaining Council started in earnest when labour tabled its position demanding a multi-year wage agreement starting 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2021 with a 12% across the board (ATB) wage increase for each of the three years. Labour also wanted an assurance that there would be no forced retrenchments for the duration of the agreement. The union also demanded medical and housing allowance increases of R1 790 for the first year through to R3 500 in the third year. All other allowances including nightshift and standby were to escalate by the agreed across the board percentage.

Labour also wanted the overtime threshold to be increased to R300 000 per annum for the 2018/2019 year and by the agreed ATB thereafter. Funeral cover was to extend beyond retirement, plus labour wanted the post-retirement medical contribution to increase to R500. Employees earning less than R100 000 basic per annum were to receive an extra 2% on top of the agreed ATB for the first year of the agreement. However, SATAWU was very disappointed when on Friday morning management reverted with an offer of 5% ATB for year one, 5.5% for year two and 6% for year 3. In an attempt to justify the lacklustre offer, management pointed to the recent downgrade to junk status by rating agency S&P Global. But labour was not convinced and made it clear that management had to revise its offer to one worthy of consideration. Noting labour’s concerns, management retreated to a caucus and emerged later with an improved final offer that SATAWU’s negotiation team will be taking to members to seek a mandate.

The final offer is as follows:
ATB of 6.5% for the first year, 7.25% the second year and 8% for the final year. Zero increase on all allowances. No forced retrenchments for the duration of the agreement. Wage agreement to be implemented on 1 April, 2018. SATAWU will take this latest and final offer to members for approval and will report back to the Bargaining Council with a mandate on 15 January, 2018.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Mining Qualification Authority (MQA) signed a 3-year bursary agreement with the JB Marks Education Trust Fund to fund 80 engineering students to study at tertiary institutions across South Africa. The agreement was signed on Tuesday at MQA head office in Parktown. This agreement is pivotal in that it increases the JB Marks annual intake from 200 to 280 beneficiaries for the next three years.

The JB Marks Education Trust Fund was founded in 1997 by the NUM and named after the first president of the African Miners Union and this year, the Trust celebrates its 20th-anniversary milestone. Over the past two decades, JB Marks has provided bursaries for members of the NUM and their families; ultimately enabling 1121 bursars to graduate with mainstream qualifications (including 18 medical doctors). What makes the JB Marks Education Trust Fund particularly important to the general upliftment of the community is its interest in the dependents of the NUM members, of whom many have received educational bursaries.

Cosatu warns state’s delay in making a wage offer

BusinessLive reports that according to union federation Cosatu, the government’s delay in presenting a wage offer to public servants is a recipe for an unnecessary strike. Claiming that negotiators have no mandate, the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) has again failed to present a wage offer to public sector unions, asking this time for a postponement until 7 December. The government was expected to report back to unions last Thursday after having requested a postponement in October.  The government has repeatedly failed to stick to deadlines, even though Finance Minister Gigaba has already publically set out the government’s budgetary plans.

It has been two months since the unions presented a wage demand for a 12% increase for employees on levels four to seven, 11% for those on levels eight to 10, and 10% for those on levels 11 and 12.  Cosatu’s lead negotiator and SA Democratic Teachers’ Union general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said workers were suffering from “deliberate bureaucratic inefficiency”.  He cited the lack of political will by employers and a leadership crisis at the department as two of the reasons that would lead workers onto the streets.  The Public Service Association (PSA) said that it was puzzling that the government still claimed to have no position to present to labour.

by Theto Mahlakoana

POPCRU to host GBV campaign

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) will be hosting a national campaign against gender based violence under the theme “POPCRU enhancing community relations to end gender based violence” , this as part of the 16 Days of activism that we continue to engage in on a yearly basis. The campaign will be addressed by representatives from the SAPS, ex-Convicts, the LGBTI, the Department of Justice and the Department of Correctional Services.

Date: 29 November 2017
Time: 09h00
Venue: Salvation Church, 34801 Hlanga Crescent,  Makhaza, Khayelitsha, Cape Town

NUM concludes a 3-year wage agreement with the Coal Producers

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is pleased to announce it has signed a 3-year wage agreement with the coal producers last night. The wage agreement is effective from 1 June 2017 (Officials) and 1 July 2017 (category 4 to 8 employees and Miners and Artisans at all Companies with the exception of Koornfontein Mines which will implement on 1 July 2017 and Delmas Coal which will implement on 1 July 2017  for all employees.

NUM members at Kangra Coal Mine to go strike on Friday

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members at Kangra Coal Mine have served a 48-hour notice today to go on strike. The strike will commence on Friday 24 November 2017 starting at 11 am and will include every shift that follows thereafter. The NUM members at Kangra Coal Mine demands a wage increase of R1 100 once off for the year 2017 and 7,5% for 2018 and 8,5% for 2019.

The purpose of the strike is to compel the company to comply with our demands with specific reference to the harmonising of housing allowance and wage increases. The highest paid employees at Kangra Coal Mine are getting housing allowances of between R11, 800 and 12, 600 while the lowest paid employees are getting R4050. It is totally unacceptable and the NUM is of the view that this apartheid inequality gap must be closed. The Kangra Coal Mine continues to be arrogant and negotiating in bad faith. The NUM is determined to force this company to lend an ear to its wage demands.