COSATU rejects the Institute of Race Relations ‘ self serving proposals on the economy

COSATU is fully supportive of any attempts to discuss and
explore a developmental model that will be people centred, and acknowledge the South African economic and social history and dynamics and also unite all social partners.

This economic crisis has exposed the shortcomings of neoliberalism and all those, who are still placing only neoliberal policies on the table and are pressuring the National Treasury to implement, will face stiff resistance from COSATU. We need to come up with policies that will rescue the poor from poverty, create jobs for the unemployed and not just to please and pacify the sovereign rating agencies.

No green light for Lily operations until buried container retrieved

The Citizen reports that Lily Mine would be able to resume operations in about eight to 10 months when full funding has been obtained, but permission will not be granted until a container in which three employees has been trapped for months is retrieved.

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane indicated:  “Firstly, the container must be retrieved, and all safety precautions must be taken before mine workers can resume their duties.”  Operations at the Vantage Goldfields mine near Barberton were halted in February after a cave-in,  yet three employees are still unaccounted for.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has expressed concern over the decision to resume operations and believes the mine should rescue the workers first.

By Batlile Phaladi

Looming strike action in grain sector

Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu)is set to go out on strike in the grain industry.  It served eight employers in the grain industry with a strike notification on Monday when wage negotiations failed. The eight employers are OVK, VKB, Suidwes, Senwes, Grain Field Chickens, GWK, NWK and Obaro.

In a statement, the union said workers were battling with the high cost of living and employers were offering increases far below their demands. The workers are demanding 9% wage increase, or an additional R550 a month per employee across the board, whichever is the greater.  Among other demands, workers want an annual guaranteed 13th cheque as well as a housing allowance of R850.

Both parties resumed talks on Wednesday to try to resolve the stand-off. The employers are offering between 3% and 8%.  Fawu has indicated that, as the talks have deadlocked, a strike will start on Friday.

SABC’s Hlaudi Motsoeneng mulls introducing staff uniforms

In the course of an interview with City Press, SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng said he has been thinking that maybe the national broadcaster’s employees should have uniforms “so that they can understand unity.”

He said SABC employees were expected to “sing the song and talk the talk of the SABC”.  He explained further that:  “If the SABC releases a statement, our employees can’t say ‘the SABC said this’; they must say ‘we are saying this or have decided on that’.  They can’t report like other broadcasters when they are part of any SABC decision.”  Motsoeneng also indicated:  “The SABC is independent as an organisation, but no one is independent within the organisation.”

Report by Poloko Tau

Netcare’s pharmacy outsourcing deal draws fire from union Hospersa

BDLive reports that private hospital group Netcare’s plans to outsource its Medicross pharmacies and its hospital retail outlets to retailer Clicks have drawn the ire of independent pharmacists and union Hospersa.

Netcare will continue to run its own hospital pharmacies. The Independent Community Pharmacy Association said the development threatened small businesses, while Hospersa (The Health & Other Service Personnel Trade Union of SA) said Netcare had failed to consult employees about its plans to transfer them to Clicks.  “Hospersa is truly astounded by this.

In terms of the Labour Relations Act, employers have to consult with employees when considering transfers, and here we see Netcare announcing it in a newsletter.  It is unheard of,” said the union’s Noel Desfontaines.  Hospersa is also unhappy about Netcare’s broader restructuring plans, and voiced its concerns to the company last week.  Netcare CEO Richard Friedland said on Wednesday that affected Netcare and Medicross staff would be transferred to Clicks on similar conditions of employment, and no jobs would be lost as a result of the transaction.

SA firefighters in Canada down hoses over ‘wage dispute’

eNCA reports that South African firefighters working in Canada have downed their fire hoses. They caused a sensation when they broke into song after arriving to help fight that countrys’ spring fire outbreak.

But now they have gone on strike over pay. According to reports, the firefighters claim that they were promised R750 a day, but are only receiving a third of this. Working with Fire is sending a team to Canada to try resolve the issue. It says the pay was agreed to before the group left the country, and any outstanding amounts will be paid upon their return.

Occupational Health & Safety: Know how

In the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS Act), 85 of 1993, we find out who our health and safety representatives are…

Who appoints health and safety reps?
The workers elect health and safety representatives at a time and place agreed upon with the employer.

Mafube municipal workers enraged over non-payment of salaries

eNCA reports that hundreds of Mafube municipality workers in the Free State are furious, after their employer failed to pay their May salaries. The municipality’s broke and owes several service providers, including pension fund administrators.

Some workers have downed tools, as they fight for their wages. Mafube’s financial woes are nothing new. In his 2014-2015 municipal report, auditor general Kimi Makwetu noted that since 2010, the municipality’s had financial management problems. Last year, it lost millions to irregular expenditure. Now, with a crisis unfolding and hundreds of workers in limbo, the Cooperative Governance Department is stepping in.

The municipality’s salary bill is nearly double Treasury’s norms and standards. “They have around 120 million budget per annum and of the 120 million – 78 million goes to salaries. So you would imagine that constitutes about 70%.” Duma Mokete said. Until they get their salaries, these workers say they’ll halt service delivery.

CWU close to inking Telkom collaborative partnership deal

Telkom’s conclusion of a new two-year collaborative partnership agreement with organised labour does not include the company’s largest union the Communications Workers Union (CWU).

Free State farmworker killed after falling from truck

The New Age reports that a Free State farmworker died and seven others sustained moderate to minor injuries after falling from a truck on Monday morning.

According to emergency services, the incident happened around 7:30 as farmworkers were being transported to a farm on Klein road, Bohlokong in Bethlehem.  It is believed that the farmworkers were standing at the back of the truck when parts of the vehicle’s upper structure gave way. At least eight of the workers fell off the truck while it was moving.