11 February 2013

South Africa: Memorandum to Government of South Africa and the Employers.

Today, the 9th of February 2013, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliates, together with the community are gathered here as progressive structures representing the interest of the poor working people (employed and unemployed) who are exploited every minute of their life.

We are presenting this memorandum to the Premier of the North West on behalf of North West provincial administration, the Minister of Labour, the Minister of Mineral Resources and the representative from the employers of this province and this country, full of hope that all what we are raising in this memorandum will be addressed by government and all the employers of the province and the country at large.

We are here to display our anger and dissatisfaction at the manner in which the lives of our people have been undermined by the scourge of poverty; the slave wages and the poor working conditions and living conditions they are in since the dawn of democracy and currently the scourge of union bashing which has become a new tendency to undermine the hard won democracy that we fought for.

Workers of this country continue to be marginalised and subjected to substandard services and slave wages which continue to degrade their lives while the politicians and business executives continue to benefit from the rich economy this country poses

Statistics South Africa reported that “A decrease in employment was attributable to job losses experienced in the formal sector (down by 52 000) and private households (down by 8 000). Employment in agriculture and in the informal sector increased by 24 000 (3,6%) and 8 000 (0,4%) respectively. The number of discouraged work-seekers increased by 87 000 between Q3:2012 and Q4:2012, while other not economically active persons increased by 259 000.

Compared to a year ago, in Q4: 2012, employment increased by 0,6% (80 000), unemployment increased by 6,1% (257 000), the number of discouraged work-seekers decreased by 2,5% (58 000) and other (not economically active) increased by 1,4% (180 000), resulting in a net increase of 121 000 in the not economically active population

Above is an indication on how the people are losing hope in the economy of our country. At the same time we are threatened by further job losses through retrenchments and dismissal in the mining sector.

As COSATU we have observed with disappointment the current spate of undermining of constitution, the labour laws and the collective agreement by the number of companies in our country, in particular Impala.

Companies unilaterally pronounce their intentions to retrench without following the proper procedures as enshrined in the act. What is worse is that they are conclusive as they have the exact number of workers who will be affected.

Companies such as Impala unilaterally derecognizes unions and take away their organisational rights while the agreements are still valid and at the same time continues to give recognition and rights to a union which has lesser members just because that union organises white employees.

COSATU subscribes to the notion of freedom of association as enshrined in the constitution of the country and condemns any form of intimidation which intends to force workers to join union which they did not choose.

We have noted the action by the employers to dismiss all the workers who are on an unprotected strike and we believe that the employers have that right but this is not an appropriate action to take at this point.

We have noted that many public sector employees and public representatives including municipal workers have business interests which are not declared and we believe that this is also a contributor to corruption.

Our country’s raw materials continue to be exported, leaving very little tax revenue for our people in the country and we have to purchase them very expensively after they have been processed.

The price of electricity has increased extremely and we are disappointed that Eskom has made an application for another increase which will see the price of electricity double in the coming five years.

Workers continue to be employed by labour brokers which we believe it is a form of modern slavery and it deteriorates the working conditions of workers and the reduction of benefits as part of the salary which is taken by the labour broker.

The DoL officials as the custodian of laws that are meant for employee relations and labour peace has folded their arms whilst Impala continue to contravene almost every section of our labour relations Act.

Therefore, COSATU demands the following:

The planned retrenchment by Anglo must stop immediately.

The end of union bashing at impala and the immediate reopening of the NUM offices.

The appointment of a jointly agreed independent body to conduct membership verification exercise for both Impala and Anglo Platinum.

Impala re-employ all the 2500 dismissed workers in 2012.

Fair labour practice.

End of lawlessness at Implats.

DoL and DMR to investigate Implats with a view of reviewing the license.

DoL to investigate the status of all the unions and deregister all those which do not meet the requirements.

The reinstatement of all workers who have been dismissed including workers at Rainbow Chickens and Aquarius mine.

The review of the mining license of Impala

The investigation of the conduct of the management of Impala and their relationship between the officials and prosecutors at the Bafokeng magistrate court and Phokeng and Tlhabane police stations.

The protection and the end of intimidation of all the workers.

The investigation of the killing of all the workers in the mining industry and the prosecution of all those who are implicated.

Labour broker must be banned and all the employers must employ all the employees under the labour brokers in their staff complement.

A living wage which will assist to take workers out of poverty.

In addition:

We demand that the Department of Labour must deregister TAWUSA, in that they don’t have structures and do not submit financial reports as per Protective Service requirement of dol.

We demand that DoL with the involvement of shop stewards conduct a thorough inspection and penalise and scrap the following companies for non compliance with sectoral determination:

Refitlhile Security in Mafikeng

Kopanelo Security in Rustenburg and Mafikeng

Sausalito Security in Mafikeng

Fawcett Security in the province

Tshedza in the province

All these companies are exploiting the workers.

We demand a full detailed response within seven days:

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