Protest action by SACCAWU JAB DRY FRUITS workers

The Congress of South African Unions pledges its full support for the three hundred and eighty (380) workers employed by JAB Dry Fruits who are also members of our affiliated union SACCAWU. They will be demonstrating and picketing outside the Nelspruit Magistrate court.

Date:  23 October 2018
Time:  09h00
Venue: Nelspruit Magistrate Court

 Those workers will be fighting for the following:
– Full prosecution of the company CEO for allegedly looting the financial capital belonging to company.
– Against voluntary application for liquidation of the company.
– Settlement of debts owed to the company employees
– To avoid massive joblosses and advance job security

Fatal Lethabo incident will affect power system, Eskom says

Business Live reports that a fatal incident at the Lethabo Power Station is expected to negatively affect the national power system as it has resulted in a unit being put out of service for three months. On Wednesday afternoon, “the live steam pressure from the boiler of unit 5 of the Lethabo Power Station ruptured, sending a plume of dust into the air”. It resulted in the death of an Eskom employee who is also a member of the National Union of Mineworkers on site, while another was rushed to the local hospital and is said to be in a critical condition.

A work stoppage has been initiated and, following a visit by Eskom management, a thorough investigation has been launched, as per regulatory requirements. “Based on the preliminary investigation, it is expected that unit 5 will remain out of service for a minimum of three months,”  Eskom group CEO Phakamani Hadebe said. On behalf of the Eskom board, executive management and all Eskom employees, Hadebe sent condolences to the family and friends of the deceased, and wished the injured employee a speedy recovery.

by Lisa Steyn

Man hands himself over to police after murder of NUM leader

The Citizen writes that a KwaZulu-Natal man, 53, handed himself over to police at the Pietermaritzburg police station on Wednesday for allegedly killing a mother and her daughter in the Tongaat area. Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said the suspect was taken to the Tongaat police station.

“A licensed firearm suspected to be used during the shooting was also recovered. The suspect is expected to appear in the Verulam magistrate’s court soon,” he said. The bodies of the women were discovered in their house in the Magwaveni area in Tongaat on Monday morning. They had sustained fatal gunshot wounds. Police believe the killings of Nombuso Dube, 33, and her mother Mtokozile Dube, 70, were “domestic-related”. Dube was the regional treasurer for the National Union of Mineworkers’ Women Structure.

Ref: ANA

COSATU Limpopo to embark on a march

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the World Day for Decent Work (WDDW), which fall on the month of October. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), decent work involves opportunities for work that are productive and deliver a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men.

COSATU believes that decent work must be at the centre of government actions to bring back economic growth and build a new economy that puts people first. It is on those basis that the federation in the province will be embarking on a march for decent jobs for contract workers and against outsourcing/privatization. The march will be led by the Deputy General Secretary of COSATU, comrade Solly Phetoe

Date: 16 October 2018
Gathering place: Tzaneen Showground, Open Parking
Destination: Greater Tzaneen Municipal Offices
Time: 09h00

Denosa welcomes commitment by Thelle Mogoerane to hire new staff

EWN reports that the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (DENOSA) has welcomed a commitment by the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in Vosloorus that it will hire 50 more nurses and 90 additional staff. The facility has been at the centre of controversy after a Klebsiella outbreak in July claimed the lives of at least six newborn babies. The Health Department said the outbreak was caused by overcrowding that compromised infection control measures at the hospital.

DENOSA spokesperson Lebogang Nkoana said the move would improve services at Thelle Mogoerane and ensure that patients there received proper health care.  “This task team will be focusing on restructuring the ward for better ventilation and other stuff.  They are also looking at how to restructure and put proper resources in place towards alleviating the pressure the staff has been feeling, and to make sure that such occurrences of deaths and outbreaks never occur again.”

by Bonga Dlulane

COSATU KZN to picket against fuel hikes and VAT

COSATU will embark on a protest demonstration in the form of a Picket on 12th October 2018. This picket will take place at the N3 Eastbound of Marianhill Tollgates at 10:00 a.m. Comrades will gather at the Curries Fountain Stadium at 08:00 a.m. and leave at 09:30 to the N3 where the Picket would be held.

This campaign has received wide support of the public by many social movements i.e. PAPPPI, the Progressive Youth Alliance and the SACP. We encourage all members of the public to join in the protest. COSATU is strongly opposed and vehemently condemns government’s VAT and fuel hikes.

NEHAWU And SASSA On THe Ongoing National Strike

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union says that a meeting was convened this afternoon at the request of the Minister of Social Development, Honourable Susan Shabangu, to resolve issues that led to NEHAWU embarking on a national strike. The meeting arrived at a positive outcome for both beneficiaries and workers. At the end both parties agreed that Biometrics must be suspended and that functionality on the system must be reversed by Monday, 15 October 2018. After the suspension of the functionality is done tests will be conducted to eliminate any unintended consequences. Workers will revert back to the SOCPEN system that they have been using and are familiar with. An amendment of the KPA’s of grant administrator will be undertaken and SASSA will also look into the issue of remuneration for any extra added tasks to be performed by workers.

The circular instructing employees to bypass the biometric shall be withdrawn officially and a message will be sent to all SASSA managers across the country in this regard. Equally final warnings issued shall be withdrawn too and no disciplinary actions relating to biometrics will be tolerated going forward. The union will go back to the picket lines tomorrow to report to members on a draft settlement agreement and use that to get a mandate for signing and demobilising. On Monday, all workers are expected to return back to work and parties agreed that the “no work, no pay” principle will not be applied and that no workers will face punitive measures for participating on the strike.

SASSA workers to strike

SABC News writes that trade union, Nehawu has announced that workers at the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will embark on a nationwide strike from Wednesday. The union has highlighted worker’s issues at the agency, including problems caused by flaws in the bio-metric system. Nehawu’s demands include the suspension of the biometric enrollments of grant beneficiaries and for job evaluations to be undertaken.

The union’s General Secretary, Zola Saphetha addressed the media in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. He says the biometric identity access and management for staff as initially presented to workers by management has resulted in unhappiness and anxiety among workers because the biometric enrollments of beneficiaries is a new function that workers were not consulted on and the employer implemented unilaterally. He says: “The system has numerous flaws which is at the detriment of beneficiaries who rely on social grants. We have raised concerns about the biometric system and have continuously warned SASSA about the huge impact it would have on the 17 million beneficiaries.”

Village Main Reef concludes three-year wage agreement with NUM

The Minerals Council SA (MCSA – previously called the Chamber of Mines) advised on Friday that Village Main Reef had concluded a wage agreement with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and Uasa. The three-year agreement will run until 30 June 2021.  The agreement will see increases to the basic wages of so-called ‘Category 4-8’ employees of R575 in each of the next three years.   For underground entry level employees, this will be a 7% increase in the first year.  Miners, Artisans and Officials will receive increases of 4.25% in the first year, and increases equal to the CPI in each of the following two years.

In addition to the basic wage, the parties agreed to an increase in the Living-out Allowance for Kopanang employees amounting to R100 in September 2018, and R50 in each of the two subsequent years, taking the total to R2,300.  Those at Village’s Tau Lekoa mine already receive that amount.  A number of non-wage items were also agreed upon.  Wage negotiations in respect of Sibanye-Stillwater with NUM and the other unions are continuing under the auspices of the CCMA.

COSATU disappointed business didn’t commit at Jobs Summit to freeze on job cuts

EWN reports that labour federation Cosatu says that while it’s satisfied with many of the outcomes of the Jobs Summit, it’s disappointed that the business sector couldn’t commit to a freeze on job losses. The two-day summit concluded in Midrand on Friday with President Cyril Ramaphosa announcing plans to create over 270,000 jobs annually and to reduce unemployment from 27% to 6% by 2030.

COSATU’s Bheki Ntshalintshali commented that the labour movement was satisfied that government won’t be retrenching workers and instead announced the number of critical vacancies it wanted to fill.  But he said they would have loved for business to have made the same commitment.  “We are not satisfied with that one,” he indicated. Ntshalintshali added that Cosatu was satisfied that the business sector had promised to do everything in its power to avoid retrenchments.

by Clement Manyathela