1 February 2013

South Africa: Cosatu Gauteng Press Statement On Court Challenge By Employers to Extension of Bargaining Council Agreement in Textile and Clothing Sector to Non-Parties

Cosatu in Gauteng note with anger the Court challenge by some frivolous employers to the collective agreement reached in the Bargaining Council by unions and employers in the textile sector.

We welcome the extension of the agreement by the Minister of Labour as such is within her powers as provided by the South African Labour Law and in particular the Labour Relation Act and Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

We condemn these minority employers who intend to subject workers to poverty and slave wages. We know for the fact that there are some bigger political forces behind them that support them both financially and morally to wage a political campaign against our government and to the collective bargaining frame work. Their challenge smells of apartheid tendencies which think that to subject workers and black workers in particular to slave wages.

We call upon the Department of Labour to defend the workers’ rights to engage in the collective bargaining forum with the employers and for the right of the minister to extend the collective agreements reached by majority parties to none parties to the collective agreement which they have do so out of their choice by failing to associate and participate in the collective bargaining processes.

We hope Eskom and Nersa are taking note of these developments in the current process by the employers to challenge workers increases and also for Nersa to note that currently Putco is intending to increase transport cost by 15%.

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