Cosatu warns of border management bill’s threats to 10,000 jobs

BDLive reports that trade union federation Cosatu on Tuesday objected to the threats posed to about 10,000 public service jobs by the Border Management Authority Bill. It said at public hearings held by the portfolio committee on home affairs that the bill had implications for public servants redeployed to the proposed Border Management Authority (BMA), set to manage SA’s ports of entry.  Among concerns was the potential loss of members’ right to strike, restrictions on sharing information, and the establishment of new labour relation practices and procedures.

Cosatu’s Matthew Parks said the federation supported the plan by the Department of Home Affairs to keep the ports authority inside the public sector, but not the removal of its public service labour category.  The move would have a significant impact on the redeployed workers, especially the implications for their rights as workers should the functions of the authority be declared an essential service.  Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba told the committee that the BMA was not meant to take over the functions of police personnel at borders and SARS customs officials

by Khulekani Magubane

NUM supports striking employees at Northern Cape mine

Mining Weekly reports that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Tuesday said it supported employees who were striking at manganese and iron-ore producer Diro Resources’ operation, in Kathu, in the Northern Cape.

The mine is said to have not paid its employees since May.  “We are aware of the business rescue process taking place, which in our view will compromise what is due to workers, as other creditors such as banks are being owed by Diro Resources,” NUM said in a statement.  The union further claimed that Diro’s employees were not registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

Cosatu to support Saccawu Cable Way workers

Cable Way Company Union Members are to go on strike due to wage bargaining breakdown as a result of union basher from Woolworths. The Human resources manager of Cable Way Company is one of the union bashers from Woolworths. Tasneem introduced measures from Woolworths, where workers are not paid because the wind is blowing and the cable car cannot ride. Yet the Managers get double bonuses when the occupancy levels of the cable car increases through no effort from themselves.

This is one of the most profitable companies in South Africa, but the management refuses to reveal the payment of the board and the Directors as well as the profit levels of the company. This company in line with its Union busting tactics has withdrawn a written 10 % wage offer and reduced the offer in the negotiations, which is really bad faith and must be challenged. Cosatu will be joining the workers in demonstrating against the Cable Company, unless they pay decent wages to the workers, as well as implementing fair and decent conditions of employment.  Should no agreement be reached with the union on this wage negotiations then Cosatu will join the workers in exposing the Cable Way Company.  

For Questions please call Andile  Ngqaneka on 082 336 6235
and Cosatu Tony Ehrenreich 082 7733194

COSATU to make its submissions on the Border Management Authority Bill in parliament today

The Congress of South African Trade Unions will present its submissions on the Border Management Authority (BMA) Bill to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs’ public hearings at 9:30am, today ,Tuesday 13 September 2016, at Parliament’s V475 Committee Room, Old Assembly. COSATU supports the need for a single government department to manage South Africa’s porous borders but we have some strong reservations about the continued agencification of the state.

We shall sharply state the following issues:
– COSATU and its affiliate unions demand that the BMA should remain within the public service; and
– We also shall call for a total ban of outsourcing within the BMA.

COSATU will not agree to any attempt to locate the BMA, an armed security organ of the state, outside the public service. Such a move would be unprecedented within the history of South Africa.  Any attempt to ram this bill through the throats of the workers in its current form ,will lead to mass mobilisation and industrial action by COSATU unions inside and outside the public service. COSATU is unwavering in its opposition to any attempt to weaken and fragment the state, through unaccountable government agencies.

For further information, please contact:
Matthew Parks COSATU Parliamentary Officer
082 785 0687 / 021 461 3835


EWN reports that the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has questioned the influence of a private publisher on education policy in the Western Cape. The teachers’ union believes the London-based Pearson potentially has too much influence because it designs the province’s systemic tests. The union wants these tests discontinued.

The union does not want Pearson drafting independent exams for Western Cape schools. Sadtu also wants the department to cancel its R36 million contract with the company amid reports of Pearson’s attempts to privatise education. Western Cape Education’s Paddy Attwell maintains the company does not influence its policies and that their involvement in the tests that has absolutely no bearing on the results of the tests. Pearson designs independent learner competency tests for Grades 3, 6 and 9. Sadtu has vowed to boycott the tests set down for October.

by Natalie Malgas

Nehawu strike at Parliament suspended pending outcome of CCMA meeting

News24 reports that parliamentary employees affiliated to the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) suspended their strike on Monday. This was pending the outcome of a meeting between the union’s leaders and Parliament’s management, facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

Nehawu memberswent on an unprotected strike on Thursday, following a week of lunchtime protests.  They want Parliament to stop planned salary deductions related to a November 2015 strike and to lift the suspensions of their branch chairperson, Sthembiso Tembe, and member Michael Sithole.

by Thulani Gqiranan

Talks with Telkom were an ‘academic exercise’, says CWU

The New Age reports that the Communication Workers Union (CWU) on Wednesday described its meeting with Telkom over its five week long strike as an “academic exercise”. The union’s general secretary Aubrey Tshabalala said that if the union’s negotiations with the telecoms company failed to yield positive results, the union would have no qualms in ratcheting up its industrial action on Telkom’s operations.

He lamented Telkom’s 6% salary increase earlier this year, which was linked to performance-based bonuses.  Tshabalala added that the union’s demand for an 11% wage hike was non-negotiable.  One of the CWU’s long-standing demands is the removal of Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko.

by Bonolo Selebano

Satawu must cough up for damages caused by striking members

Netwerk24 reports that the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) must cough up R103,885 due to damage caused by its striking members to Manzi Monate’s recreational facilities in Pretoria. The amount, with interest, must be paid to Manzi Monate Country Club Share Block (Pty) Ltd in Kameeldrift in terms of an order on Wednesday by the North Gauteng High Court.

Satawu also has to pay Manzi Monate’s legal costs.  In its court papers, Manzi Monate averred that strikers caused serious damage to the club’s premises and physically prevented ingress and egress.  This was notwithstanding the terms of a prior picketing agreement.  Damage was caused to the irrigation system and a company vehicle.  Various other costs were incurred. (Loosely translated from Afrikaans)

by Jeanne-Marié Versluis (Ref: SALabourNews)

Cosatu requests SAHRC to probe Lily Mine disaster

ANA reports that labour federation Cosatu has requested the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate the disaster in February at the Lily Gold Mine, in Barberton, in which three mineworkers died. Mpumalanga provincial chairman Life Monini indicated:  “Our view is that the rights of the workers and certain legislations were violated at that mine.”

Three Lily mine workers were trapped underground when a lamproom container in which they were working fell into an enormous sinkhole created by a collapsed crown pillar.  Rescue operations were launched the same month in an attempt to recover the bodies of the three workers, but later aborted as the mine was declared unsafe.  Monini claimed that the mine violated the Mining Charter and other pieces of legislation by “placing the container in mouth of the shaft”.  The SAHRC’s Mpumalanga manager confirmed that the commission had met with Cosatu.

Nehawu downs tools in Parliament

SABC News reports that the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) is on a full blown strike. Union Chairperson, Sthembiso Tembe, says the Secretary to Parliament, Gengezi Mgidlana, has sent a memorandum saying money should be deducted from their salaries this month as part of the No Work No Pay policy. Tembe says the union will fight this as it has been at loggerheads with Parliament over salary related issues since last year.

“It’s a full blown strike. One of the reasons is that Mgidlana once again, is taking unilateral decisions to deduct salaries of the workers notwithstanding the outstanding issues that still need to be resolved between the two parties. For instance, we have not yet agreed on the actual number of days that should be deducted.” Tembe says the union is also striking against his subsequent suspension in June and the suspension of six other members. “We do not refuse to undergo the DC processes because we should all be subjected to the laws of the country but those processes should be fair and procedural,” adds Tembe.

Nehawu’s provincial structure briefed the media on Monday, calling for the African National Congress (ANC) and presiding officers of Parliament to intervene or prepare for a battle. ANC Caucus spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo, said “We have not received any invitation from either party for political intervention from the ANC side.”