Nehawu threatens Limpopo public service shut down

IOL News reports that the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) says it will go ahead with its plans to shut down the Limpopo public service if its long standing demands are not met. The union said on Wednesday that it was disappointed that Limpopo Premier Chipu Mathabatha, had not responded to its demands, which date back a number of years, 45 days after the union marched to his offices. Nehawu’s demands include resolving challenges around the training nurses, the re-employment of outsourced security services, laundries and kitchens, the finalisation of the parking bay policy, and the scrapping of what it says are unfair housing rental fees.

“Nehawu met with government over two days on August 29 and 31, and came to some agreement with stringent time frames on several issues. It is however disappointing that government has violated the agreement and failed to implement what we agreed upon,” said the union in a statement. Nehawu said it will continue with its demands and has called on its members to be ready to take to the streets.

by Zintle Mahlati

Following member’s death, NUM to hold mass meeting at Sibanye’s Cooke operations

Business Report writes that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was due to hold a mass meeting at Sibanye Gold Cooke Operations on Wednesday afternoon. The holding of the meeting follows an attack that led to the death of NUM member Ranthimo Nkosi and left others injured.

The NUM said in a statement that it wanted to put it on record that its members would never fight other workers and it added:  “There is nothing that the NUM will benefit by fighting fellow black mineworkers.  Our fight is directed at Sibanye Gold that is dividing black mineworkers.  Our fight is directed against Capitalist barbarism.”

DOCTORS BLEED CASH AND PATIENTS LOSE LIFESAVING SKILLS TO MEDICAL MALPRACTICE – SAys SAMA

Medical malpractice lawsuits are wreaking havoc in South African healthcare system; doctors are bleeding cash in indemnity cover, as they are forced to pay astronomical fees of around R65 000 per month. As a result, specialists in high-risk fields such as obstetrics, neurosurgery, spinal surgery and neonatology are abandoning their professions. This creates a serious shortage of experienced and much-needed skills in the system to the detriment of patients.

Doctors do not get full cover despite paying huge premiums. The insurers wash off their hands on claims in the public sector, and demand that the state should take care of the estimated total claim of about R25 billion. The claims have been sharply increasing in numbers and value; the biggest claim settled in 2006 was R6 million, R14 million in 2008, and R33m in 2013. The highest claim was made in 2014 for R80m. There is no budget for these claims and failure to address this critical problem has a potential to cause serious instability or catastrophe.

Dr Mahlane Phalane
General Secretary of South African Medical Association Trade union
071 505 2326

Cosatu breathes fire at government as jobs are lost in second quarter

Business Report writes that the government has come under fire from the labour movement for the latest losses in employment, with COSATU calling the administration “feckless and uninspired” and out of its depth. The labour federation marched for decent jobs on Friday.

Employment in the formal sector fell by 0.7% or 67,000 jobs to 9.218 million in the second quarter compared with the previous quarter, a survey by Statistics SA showed last week.  The biggest decline was in the government sector, where 48,000 jobs were lost.  COSATU said the progressive policies of the ANC had been abandoned and replaced by policies that pandered to big business and ratings agencies.  The Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) said it was distressed by shrinking employment.

by Wiseman Khuzwayo

Cosatu wants minimum wage set at R4 500

FIn24 reports that COSATU handed a memorandum of demands to the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Lechesa Tsenoli during its strike and march in solidarity with International Day for Decent Work on Friday. The memorandum would be circulated at Parliament, where many of the issues raised are already the subject of discussion at committees.

COSATU wants the minimum wage to be set at R4 500 a month. Cosatu members started their march at Keizergracht street, picking up supporters who arrived in their work clothes from Pick n Pay, Checkers and Spar. Leaders from the ANC Youth League, the SA Municipal Workers Union and the SA Communist Party were among those throwing their weight behind COSATU’s demands. The executive director of the Cape Chamber of Commerce Sid Peimer was also present to receive a copy of the memorandum.

by Jenni Evans

Talks on Zululand university strike to start soon

BDLive reports that The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) has welcomed Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande’s attempts to end a nine-week strike by hundreds of University of Zululand workers. Nehawu-affiliated workers at the university embarked on the strike on August 18, demanding a wage increase, pay progression, insourcing and the conversion of temporary staff to permanent employment. The strike entered its ninth week on Monday.

Nzimande on Friday met a delegation from Nehawu and he was appraised about the situation at the university. Nzimande said on Saturday he had persuaded the union and the university to agree to the appointment of a six-member team to hold marathon negotiations to end the strike. University spokeswoman Gcina Nhleko was not available to comment on Sunday. But she told Business Day on Thursday that the institution was doing all it could to find a solution to end the strike.

by Nce Mkhize

Shoprite workers complain at Cosatu march about Basson’s R100m salary

SowetanLive reported that Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson’s R100m salary was brought up on Friday as workers gathered in Johannesburg for the march organised by labour federation COSATU.  Some workers joined the march dressed in their red Shoprite work T-shirts to express their frustrations over working conditions at the retailer.

The workers were astonished this week when the company’s annual report revealed that Basson’s remuneration included R49.7m in basic pay and a one-time R50m performance-related bonus.  One of the workers said:  “I heard that he [Basson] is saying he is giving his employees R4000 a month‚ but it’s not true.  For a temporary worker the maximum pay is R3000‚ that is if you worked maximum hours.”  The workers also complained about their prospects of getting permanent employment.

by Julia Madibogo and Penwell Dlamini

Samwu calls for EPWP workers to be employed directly by municipalities

MG Digital reports that as Cosatu marched in support of workers on Friday‚ the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) was demanding that contract workers be employed by cities across the country. “Casualisation and privatising municipal services has resulted in exploitation of workers through the use of tenders and the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) ‚” Samwu said, adding that it was of the view that “EPWP workers are rendering municipal services and as such they should be employed directly and permanently by municipalities with all the benefits that municipal workers are currently enjoying.”

Yet, the SA Local Government Association (Salga) said it “does not have an adopted policy position on the EPWP workers being permanently employed in municipalities”.  It is said that placing thousands of EPWP workers on the local government payroll would have serious implications for towns and cities.

by Penwell Dlamini (TimesLive)

Cosatu marchers to hand demands to Parliament on Friday

Cape Argus reports that Cosatu workers were expected to descend on Cape Town’s city centre on Friday as they embark on a strike to mark International Day for Decent Work.

Cosatu workers were calling for a number of things, including a minimum wage, decent working conditions, adequate public transport and the implementation of the National Health Insurance.  In their demands that they will be handing over to Parliament, the union calls on “the rich” to come forward and take responsibility for funding free education.  Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich stressed the strike was a legal one and said they were expecting Cosatu-affiliated workers to participate.

by Olisa Tswanya

join the COSATU NATIONAL STRIKE ACTION today – 07 OCTOBER 2016

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) will be going on a nation wide strike on Decent Work day, Friday  7th October 2016, which is also the International Day of Action.
The marches are starting at 9am across all provinces.

the National Strike to highlight the following issues:

  • Demand the scrapping of the e‐tolling system including expensive toll gates. In replacement, we demand an efficient, reliable, affordable, subsidised and integrated public transport system
  • Demand the total banning of the labour brokers
  • Defend our Jobs and fight against retrenchments
  • Demand the implementation of the Legislated National Minimum Wage
  • Defend and protect our Collective Bargaining Agreements
  • Fight for compliance with Occupational Health & Safety Standards in all workplaces
  • Fight for the implementation of the NHI
  • Fight for the scrapping of the Taxation Amendment Law
  • Demand the implementation of Free Education

This is a protected strike (which means every workers has a right to strike and cannot be victimised), we therefore call on all workers to join the strike in their numbers.