NUM march at Pilansberg Platinum mine to protest against retrenchments

Deputy General Secretary of COSATU , Cde Solly Phetoe will be joining the NUM march today at Pilansberg Platinum mine in Moruleng to protest against the planned retrenchments by the mine.

A slight decline has been seen in the official unemployment rate by 0,6 of percentage but it is still 2,0% points higher compared to the same period last year. All these ongoing retrenchments mean that huge numbers of our people are being sent to grinding poverty. The march will start today at 10:00 am in Moruleng at Pilansberg Platinum mine.

COSATU Free State marches against decimation of the local poultry industry

COSATU Free State has noted the impact of the dumping of off-cut chicken pieces from the United States and European Union in South Africa to the detriment of our local poultry industry and says enough is enough.

COSATU Free State will be going on a march on Friday, February 17, 2017 to deliver a set of demands to government demanding their intervention in this crisis. The march will start at Batho Community hall in Bloemfontein at 10H00 and proceed to the offices of the Department of Small Business, Tourism and Economic Affairs where a memorandum will be handed over to the Department of Trade and Industry.

For more information:
Provincial Secretary Monyatso oa Mahlatsi on
051 447 5499 / 076 115 9923

COSATU to make submissions to Parliament on Treasury’s Proposed Sugar Tax

COSATU will present its submissions on Treasury’s Proposed Tax on Sugar Sweetened Beverages to the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committees on Finance and Health’s public hearings today, 14 February at 9:30am at the Old Assembly Chamber in Parliament.

The federation agrees with government that over consumption of sugar is a national health crisis. However, COSATU is equally worried about the economic impact of the proposed tax and that it is likely to result in thousands of job losses. COSATU will be meeting government at Nedlac on this urgent matter this week to discuss alternatives on how to promote healthy diets. Cosatu reiterates that promoting healthy diets does not need to come at the expense of thousands of farm workers’ jobs.

 For more information:
Matthew Parks, COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator
Tel: 021 461 3835- Cell: 082 785 0687

Teacher shortage in KZN chronic, says Sadtu

TimesLive reports that more than 2‚800 classes and subjects are without teachers in schools across KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) – including critical subjects like maths‚ physical science and accounting. This was revealed by the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union during a media briefing on the non-filling of teacher posts in Durban on Thursday.

The teacher union has accused the provincial education department of failing to quickly attend to teacher shortages in schools across the province.  Sadtu’s provincial secretary‚ Nomarashiya Caluza‚ blamed the situation on the redistribution of teachers as a result of a post provisioning norms process which the union has fought against for many years.  She said teacher shortages had resulted in overcrowded classes while the department was busy redistributing teachers endlessly.

by Bongani Mthethwa

National minimum wage is a victory for us – Cosatu

eNCA reports that the national minimum wage deal has been described as a victory for the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu). The trade union federation’s Sizwe Pamla said Cosatu has for years been championing the setting of a national minimum wage and sees the outcomes of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) negotiations as a step in the right direction. “We are the ones that have carried big business and labour, from the R2,000 that they were putting on the table two years ago to the figure where we are now,” Pamla told eNCA.

“So this is our victory, this is a victory for us as Cosatu. This is a huge improvement … so we cannot abandon the hard work the we have put in.” On Tuesday Government, business and some labour unions signed an agreement that set the national minimum wage at R20 per hour or R3,5000 per month. “We understand the government needed the signatures for whatever reason now… we have a responsibility to go and present the package to the central executive committee and allow workers to engage on it and take back whatever recommendations they make to Nedlac,” Pamla explained when asked why he Cosatu has not yet signed the agreement. Pamla emphasised that although Cosatu members were not happy the wage was not set at their preferred R4,500, they would probably sign on the dotted line once they have “clarified a few matters with their members.”

All parties bar Cosatu have signed national minimum wage deal, Ramaphosa says

BusinessLive reports that parties to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), excluding union federation Cosatu, have signed the agreement on the national minimum wage (NMW) and labour market stability  Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated at a media briefing on Wednesday that the NMW of R20 an hour would take effect from no later than 1 May 2018.

Businesses that are unable to afford the NMW will be able to apply for exemption lasting a year.  The Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) and the National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu) signed the agreement, but in a surprise move on Tuesday, Cosatu pulled out of the signing ceremony.  Ramaphosa stressed that the federation was still on board and merely wanted to report back to its central executive committee on 27 February.  Yet It is understood that the federation remained uneasy about a number of issues it believed had not been adequately addressed in the agreement.

by Linda Ensor

NEHAWU Press Conference on the National Day of Action

The National Education Health & Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) will convene a press conference today to outline plans, state of readiness and details of the National Day of Action against the National Department of Social Development.  NEHAWU is mobilising all its members in the Public Social Development sector to join the planned march to the Department on Friday, 10 February 2017.

This comes as a result of collapsed negotiations on mutual interest matters in the Public Health and Social Development Sectoral Bargaining Council (PHSDSBC), where the department has  failed to table a counter against NEHAWU’s demands, since August 2015. NEHAWU has secured a certificate to embark on a legal strike and the planned national march on 10 February 2017.

Date     :   Wednesday ,February 08, 2017,today
Venue  :   Parktonian Hotel 120 De Korte St, Johannesburg
Time    :   11am

Minimum wage expected, but not yet

eNCA reports that Cosatu has halted the planned signing ceremony of the minimum wage agreement between Nedlac parties. President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa were due to oversee the event.

Cosatu however says it needs time to consult with its Central Executive Committee. It’s unclear how long the new wage deal and labour law changes will be on hold. However, despite the delay, the signing of the national minimum wage will eventually happen, according to labour consultant Tony Healy.


UCT wage negotiations deadlocked

GroundUp reports that the University of Cape Town (UCT)’s three unions are in a deadlock with management after staff were unilaterally offered a below-inflation increase of 6% for 2017. NEHAWU’s deputy secretary Xolani Poswa confirmed that negotiations with management had deadlocked. At a meeting with university management this morning, NEHAWU attempted to negotiate a higher increase but Poswa said that the university was “not prepared to move” on their offer.

The Employees Union (EU) and Academics Union (AU) also stated that the university “refused to negotiate as per the recognition agreements with each Union, and instead provided the Unions with a final, non-negotiable offer in response to Union demands.” University management said that the negotiations had reached a deadlock, rejecting the 6% increase offer and that two of the unions had declared a dispute.

by Ashleigh Furlong

NEHAWU National Day of Action press briefing

The National Education Health & Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) is mobilising all its members in the Public Social Development sector to join the planned National Day of Action against the National Department of Social Development on Friday, 10 February 2017.

The National Day of Action comes as a result of collapsed negotiations on mutual interest matters in the Public Health and Social Development Sectoral Bargaining Council (PHSDSBC), where the department failed to table a counter against NEHAWU’s reasonable demands, since August 2015. NEHAWU has secured a certificate to embark on a legal strike and the planned national march on 10 February 2017 is intended to serve as a first warning to the department. A full blown strike is imminent, should they fail to meet our demands 7 days post the march.

A press conference will be convened to communicate all details.
Date: Wednesday February 08, 2017
Venue: Parktonian Hotel 120 De Korte St, Johannesburg
Time: 11am