Nehawu wage strike having an effect on work of Gauteng legislature

The Star reports that various committee meetings of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature have been affected by the strike action of staff members, which has entered its third week. On Wednesday, committee secretaries, communication officers and stenographers responsible for the recordings of meetings, chose to abandon their work to demand salary increases.  Committee meetings on Education; Health; and Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation had to be postponed because of the strike action.

Other recent committee meetings also have had to be postponed.  The employees, led by the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), are staging an indefinite strike for an 8% salary hike across the board.  The legislature has apparently offered 8% for low-earning staff members and 7.4% for middle management staff, but Nehawu had rejected both offers as it wants an across the board increase of 8%.  Nehawu branch secretary Kgomotso Sekulane claimed that all legislatures across the country were afforded 8% increases across the board.

by Baldwin Ndaba

NUM approaches the North Gauteng High Court

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has after studying the founding and responding affidavits of both the Chamber of Mines and the Minister of Mineral Resources decided to approach the North Gauteng High Court as an intervening party or friend of the court in the Mining Charter three pending interdict. Our legal team tomorrow the 14th September 2017 will be presenting to the court reasons why the union should be admitted, in our founding affidavits we have also assured the court that our participation will not delay or postpone the scheduled dates of the 14th -15th September 2017.

Since our intervention is premised on ensuring this process is not unduly delayed, thus negatively affecting our members and who are beneficiaries of various elements in the Mining Charter. Although we are not going oppose the application by the Chamber of Mines, the NUM will be making critical submissions to the court (which we hope will assist the court in adjudicating this matter). In defence of the gains our members have benefited from in various charters like Employee Share Ownership Schemes, improved Home Ownership options and lastly, we want to also indicate the importance of this instrument (Mining Charter) in light of mining industry’s resistance to transformation and sector being not meaningful for communities and employees in general.

For more information, please contact:
Luthando Brukwe: NUM Head of Transformation:
082 801 3604

NUM to embark on a strike at Exxaro Coal

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has served Exxaro Coal, which comprises of Grootgeluk and Leeuwpan mines respectively, with a notice to embark on a protected strike at Lephalale in Limpopo and Delmas in Mpumalanga. The NUM has submitted wage demands on Thursday, 13 April 2017 and engaged with the company ever since until on the 6th of September 2017 through the conciliation by CCMA whereby parties failed to resolve the wage dispute. The NUM then served Exxaro with a 48-hour strike notice that became active from the 12th September 2017. The strike will start tomorrow morning at 6 am.

“The union demands a wage increase of 10%, service increment of 0.5% that is given to other employees and denied to other employees, housing increase of 10% or R5000.00, standby allowance of 10%, family responsibility leave of 8 days, long service award of 15 years with one Kruger rand etc,” said William Mabapa, NUM Deputy General Secretary.

For more information, please contact:
William Mabapa: NUM Deputy General Secretary:
082 880 4439

Cosatu to strike as protest against state capture by ‘predatory elite’

BusinessLive reports that trade union federation Cosatu has resolved to embark on a national strike to protest against state capture. The congress said it would make a series of demands during the upcoming strike‚ including that President Jacob Zuma appoint a judicial commission of inquiry to probe state capture‚ as directed by former public protector Thuli Madonsela.

The federation’s calls follow a backlash against the Gupta family for their alleged role in state capture, and shortly after British public relations agency Bell Pottinger was implicated in the controversial family’s dealings in SA. Cosatu said the money recovered from those involved in state capture should be redirected to projects that addressed the plight of the working class and the poor.

by Jan Bornman

 

SATAWU opposed to planned forced retrechments at Transnet

The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union is gravely concerned by media reports that Transnet is set to retrench an estimated 8 000 workers in the next financial year. According to an article published on TimesLIVE on 7 September, Transnet is planning to retrench about 8 000 of its employees in the coming financial year after less than 10% of the targeted staff, opted for the voluntary severance package offered in March this year. Reportedly, only 1 791 staffers applied for the package and of those only 655 were approved.

SATAWU would like to categorically state that we have not been consulted about plans to forcefully retrench staff and as a result we are not aware of any such plans. However, it is only fair that we warn management that if it is entertaining any such plans, we will use every mechanism available to us to oppose the move. It goes without saying that cutting 8 000 jobs in this economic climate is nothing less than unacceptable. SATAWU members at Transnet should rest assured that we will make this issue a priority when we meet with management on Tuesday 12 September.

Tighten laws governing trade unions, minister urged

BusinessLive reports that trade unions have called on the government to hold their organisations accountable amid claims and proof of rampant corruption and maladministration in some unions. During his address, Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalinthsali wondered about the role of Nedlac’s social partners if the impression created in the country was that “it pays to commit crime”. The labour registrar has the powers to deregister a trade union if it is found to be operating outside the guidelines detailed in the Labour Relations Act.

These include the regular submission of audited financial statements. However, union leaders who are found guilty or suspected of abusing union funds are rarely prosecuted. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the keynote speaker, said the country was at a “reflection point” where a collective decision had to be made by all in society on whether corrupt practices would be allowed to continue unchecked.

by Theto Mahlakoana

No end in sight to nurses’ strike

SABC News reports that protesting nurses at the Lebowakgomo Hospital outside Polokwane in Limpopo say the Department of Health is not committed to resolving an impasse that has led to patients receiving minimal nursing care. The nurses downed tools on Friday after the announcement of the acting nursing manager. They say the appointee does not have sufficient experience and qualifications for the post.

Union Denosa’s Jacob Molepo says other employees at the hospital are also threatening to down tools in protest against the removal of the acting CEO, which was announced on Tuesday. Molepo says: “The nurses are still going to continue with the mass action until the department reverses the decision that they took on Friday to appoint a nursing manager which the nurses are not happy with. And then to put salt in the wound yesterday the department instructed the current CEO Dr Ramokgopa to step down with immediate effect. This made the situation worse.”

by Pimani Baloyi

COSATU marches to TDM company in Pietermaritzburg today, Thursday 07 September 2017

COSATU KZN  will marching to TDM company in Pietermaritzburg today, Thursday 07 September 2017. This march is in defence of about 467 workers who have been dismissed by this company. This dismissal happened after the workers have embarked in a strike action after the company official called a worker a baboon. The march will depart from Mauntrose Police Station @ Royston Avenue Pietermaritzburg @ 10:00 a.m.

For more information
Edwin Mkhize – COSATU KZN Provincial Secretary
082 399 7756  or  076 5228839

Legislature staff in Gauteng continue strike for higher wages

BusinessLive reports that about 150 workers in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature have downed tools over disputes with the employer over wages and salary increases. The strike enters day three on Tuesday as workers affiliated to the National Education‚ Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) have been demanding a 9.5% salary increase from the employer. “We are striking because of our issue with salary negotiations, which have deadlocked. The [legislature] management is offering a 7.4% increase and our workers are demanding 9.5% increase,” said Nehawu’s branch secretary in the legislature‚ Kgomotso Sekulane. On Friday‚ the workers delivered a memorandum of demands to the executives in the legislature and gave them three working days to respond.

Failing that, they would call on the legislature’s other workers affiliated to the Public and Allied Workers Union SA (Pawusa) to join forces in a bid to intensify the strike. “All we are saying is that last year‚ legislature management gave employees an 8% increase and now they are offering 7.4%. This is after everything has gone up and we are in a technical recession. All commodities have gone up and we are the only province where workers are subjected to paying e-tolls, and the trade that comes with e-toll implications is that food prices are affected‚” Sekulane said. Legislature management was due to meet on Tuesday in a bid to find a solution to the workers’ demands.

by Neo Goba

UCT ‘shutdown’ planned on Wednesday

Cape Times reports that a shutdown at the University of Cape Town is planned for Wednesday and it is reported that labour issues are the “driving force” behind this. UCT student activist Simon Rakei confirmed following a meeting held on Monday at the institution’s Lower Campus, that UCT workers have resolved to shut down the institution over what they described as exploitative labour conditions. UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola said despite the looming protest action, academic activities and administrative operations will go ahead as usual.  “On Monday afternoon, the UCT executive received a 48 hours’ notice from the South African Liberated Public Sector Workers Union (Salipswu) that it intends to embark on a strike.

It is important to emphasise that notice was given for a strike and not a shutdown. The strike relates to a range of issues including shift work, provident funds savings and four-hour a day work for some staff. “The university has been engaging with unions on these matters, which included most recently a facilitated three-day employee and union relationship workshop during the week of 14 August 2017.” Of the grievances summarised by the workers employed by UCT it included employees contesting their wage packages offered by UCT including overtime pay and workers being paid for four hours of work instead of the actual seven and a half hours worked.  Workers have also approached the CCMA in the interim to address the labour issues.

by Chevon Booysen

Ref: IOL News