COSATU to make submissions on Government’s Planned Employment Tax Incentive Extension in parliament today

COSATU will present its submission on Government’s plan to extend the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI or Youth Wage Subsidy) for two years to the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance public hearings at 10am, Wednesday, 9 November, Room S12 A, Old Assembly Chamber, Parliament.

Key areas that COSATU will raise include:

  •  The displacement of older workers in favour of younger workers by companies claiming the ETI.
  • Workers subsidising labour brokers and outsourcing through the ETI; and
  • The speed with which government is able to fast track and avail resources for the ETI subsidy for the private sector, including labour brokers and outsourcing whilst not being able to release its long delayed Discussion Paper on Retirement Reforms as promised to workers.

The federation will restate workers’ call to end any state subsidies to and for the complete banning of labour brokers and outsourcing. We appreciate government’s desire to create jobs.  However, these need to be new, permanent and decent jobs.  The state cannot be seen to be using workers’ taxes to subsidise the very labour brokers workers view as modern day slave traders.

For more info,  Matthew Parks, COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator 082 785 0687

NUM welcomes sentence handed to officials’ killer

IOL News reports that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) welcomes life imprisonment meted to a man convicted of the murder of two of its officials, the union said on Friday. The man was sentenced at the North West High Court sitting in Mogwase outside Rustenburg for the murder of NUM shop stewards Nobongile Norah Madolo and Percy Letanang.

“This sentence will send a very strong and vivid message to all those who find it difficult to tolerate the democratic right of workers who choose to belong to the union of their choice,” said spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu in reacting to the sentence.

by Molaole Montsho

Cosatu set against employment tax incentive

BusinessLive reports that labour federation Cosatu has intensified its opposition to the employment tax incentive because of the government’s refusal to exclude labour brokers from the scheme.

Matthew Parks, Cosatu’s parliamentary co-ordinator, said on Thursday that the federation was going to support the latest incentive, but rejected it because Cosatu’s demand for the exclusion of labour broking companies and outsourced services providers was ignored.  He said these types of firms did not support decent work and fair labour practices.  The state has initiated a review of the incentive legislation, which expires in December.  Submissions from a range of stakeholders will be heard in Parliament on Wednesday.

by Asha Speckman

COSATU has applied for a Section 77 Notice in preparation for a national strike demanding free education

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has applied for a Section 77 Notice informing Nedlac that we intend to declare a national strike in demand of Free Education. The federation strongly believes that education is not only a socio-economic matter but is also a human rights issue. We are deeply disappointed that the South African government has decided to boycott the Nedlac meeting continuing to weaken and undercut this strategic institution and platform of engagement by sending junior bureaucrats with no decision making powers.

We are supportive of this demand for free education because our members are the ones, who are expected to pay for education and they cannot afford. We demand that NSFAS should be oriented towards the realisation of free education.he federation also demands that a new effective and efficient central application system needs to be introduced throughout the country.

Outsourcing and casualisation should be stopped in all institutions of higher learning.  We demand the release of all those, who have been arrested for demanding free education. They must all be given an opportunity to write the 2016 exams. COSATU reiterates its call for the introduction of wealth tax that will help with the funding of free education and that the country’s budget must prioritise free education. 

COSATU to make submission on 2016/17 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement to Parliament

COSATU will present its submission on the 2016/17 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement to Parliament’s Finance Committees’ public hearings at 10am, Wednesday, 2 November, Old Assembly Chamber, Parliament. Key areas that COSATU will raise include the need to:

  • Oppose any VAT increase and tax increases upon working and middle class families.
  •  Adopt wealth and luxury goods and imports taxes.
  • Increase renewable energy supplies.
  • Abandon the unaffordable expansion of nuclear energy.
  • Increase support for job creation, economic stimulus and reindustrialization.
  • End outsourcing, privatisation and labour broking.
  • Stop the unwarranted attacks upon public servants earning a living wage.
  • Fast track the long awaited and promised National Health Insurance and Comprehensive Social Security.
  • Provide free quality basic and tertiary education for working class families.
  • Guarantee access to basic services for all.
  • Reduce wasteful and under expenditure.

For more information:Matthew Parks Parliamentary Coordinator
Tel: 021 461 3835  Cell: 082 785 0687  email: matthew@cosatu.org.za

Cosatu takes aim at Govt on national minimum wage

The New Age reports that government has sided with big business at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) engagements on the national minimum wage, Cosatu said yesterday. Cosatu national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said that the government has failed on Cosatu’s implementation scorecard. He said the 18 months of haggling between the state, labour, business and community constituencies at Nedlac were proof that the government gave workers a raw deal.

His comments come against the background of Ramaphosa being scheduled to update Parliament on the progress made by the advisory panel tasked with setting an appropriate level at which the wage should be set. Pamla, said the work done so far by Ramaphosa’s seven-member advisory panel left much to be desired.

by Bonolo Selebano

Sibanye’s platinum deal bad for jobs, maintains NUM

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has rejected Sibanye Gold’s takeover of Anglo American Platinum’s Rustenburg operations, saying it would open the floodgates for job cuts. The union’s disquiet comes after the Department of Mineral Resources granted consent for the R4.5 billion deal, which was announced last year.

Livhuwani Mammburu, NUM’s spokesman, said there was nothing to celebrate in the consent.  He claimed that Sibanye’s CE, Neal Froneman, was likely to issue a ‘section 189’ notice, signalling retrenchments.  “As the NUM, we know him as Mr Retrenchments, not Mr Fix-it.  Froneman, makes profits by focusing on retrenchments,” Mammburu stated.  Sibanye spokesman James Wellsted said NUM should not worry and added:  “There are overlaps in the senior management positions of the company’s gold and platinum operations and 514 [workers] will possibly face retrenchment.  However, the retrenchments will not be in the category where [NUM members] are represented.”

Ref: Busines Report & TimesLive

’Government dragging implementation of minimum wage’

IOL News reports that Cosatu says government and big business of dragging their feet on introducing a national minimum wage for the country. The minimum wage is meant to be adopted by the end of the year, but according to the federation there is no sense of urgency from the state and business. Cosatu spokesman Sizwe Pamala said on Thursday that the federation would raise its concerns at a Committee of Principals (COP) meeting of the National Economic, Development and Labour Council on Saturday.

“We are now well over a year beyond the July 2015 deadline that was set by the 2014 Ekurhuleni Summit for the finalisation of this matter,” he said in statement. “The COP is now meeting on 22nd October to receive the report. However, indications are that the panel has not completed its report, and that only a progress report will be submitted to the COP this coming Saturday,” said Pamla. “A meaningful national minimum wage must be an important element of a new wage policy which begins to recognise the dignity of every worker in our society, and overcomes the legacy of apartheid wage structures,” Cosatu said.

by Amy Musgrave

Marathon talks to end Nehawu strike at Unizulu so far yield no results

BusinessLive reports that marathon talks to end the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union’s (Nehawu’s) 10-week-long strike at the University of Zululand (Unizulu) have so far failed as the union was on Monday prevented from entering the campus. Hundreds of Nehawu members at Unizulu embarked on a strike on August 15‚ demanding wage increases, the conversion of temporary staff to permanent employees and eight other demands.

The two sides have met at least twice but they are not getting any closer to an agreement. Gcina Nhleko, spokesperson for Unizulu, told Business Day on Monday that the two sides could not agree on two contentious issues — insourcing and pay progression. “Talks are ongoing and we hope to reach a deal with the unions as soon as possible,” she said.

by Nce Mkhize

Teacher union slams draft bill to sell booze at WC schools

Cape Talk reports that teachers’ union Naptosa has strongly criticised a draft bill that could see the legal sale of alcohol to adults at school functions in the province. The proposed amendments to the Western Cape Provincial Education Act are part of a bid to boost fundraising efforts at local schools, but the teachers’ union says the amendment bill could do more harm than good. Naptosa’s Executive Director Basil Manuel says the law contradicts the national draft bill which plans to only grant liquor licences to operators whose premises are at least 500m away from schools.

Meanwhile, Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer says the proposals were motivated by a need to revise the excessive controls of what is deemed “school activity”. Schäfer explains that the amendment is to deal with what is already happening at many school events in any case. She says that schools and governing bodies have the power to decide whether or not they want to implement the sale of liquor. Schäfer has encouraged public comment at the hearing on the draft bill to establish permissible circumstances and legislative language on the matter.

by Qama Qukula