DISPUTES, INDUSTRIAL ACTION & DEMONSTRATIONS

Satawu strike at Teti Traffic (“Sanral”)

  • Teti Traffic workers who downed tools over a week ago demanding higher wages, have finally handed over a memorandum detailing their demands to the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral).
  • The workers are contracted to Sanral through Teti Traffic and conduct accident clean-up operations on behalf of the agency.
  • On Thursday, the employees picketed outside Sanral’s offices in Midrand, and have given the company 48 hours to respond to their demands.
  • On Friday, a second attempt at mediation between the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) representing the workers and management took place at the CCMA.

Guptas and UIF levies

Staff at The New Age claims that the Gupta family short-changed their staff by making Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) deductions from their salaries but not paying the monies over to the labour department

  • The Communications Workers Union (CWU) also confirms that the UIF issue has been raised by staff from the The New Age and TV station ANN7.
  • According to the Guptas’ spokesman, Gary Naidoo, all the applicable companies under Oakbay Investments were “registered for UIF”.

SAA: Clarity regarding Myeni and the suspension of HR head

  • South African Airways (SAA) on Wednesday labelled “misleading” reports that its general manager of human resources, Thuli Mpshe, has been placed on precautionary suspension by the chairperson of the board of directors, Dudu Myeni.
  • Instead the SAA explained that Myeni was not solely responsible for the suspension but rather the decision was a management prerogative based on operational considerations and the airline’s code of conduct.
  • Although SAA declined to comment on the details or circumstances that led to the suspension it appears that the allegations against Mpshe are of an extremely serious nature.

JOB MARKET: JOB CREATION & RETRENCHMENTS

Cabinet plans to develop least-developed parts of SA to tackle jobs crisis

  • The SA Cabinet announced on Thursday it was taking measures to deal with a stubbornly high unemployment rate, which spiked to a record 26.7% in the first quarter.
  • Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti told a media briefing:  “The Cabinet has taken a decision to draft a plan to develop least developed parts of the country in an attempt to stimulate the economy, especially among the uneducated youth.”
  • Nkwinti said the government would focus more on technical education for youth in the country to improve employment.
  • This follows, mining production figures released by Statistics SA on Thursday that showed output plunged a record 18% year on year in March.

Indian dock-workers in Cape Town

  • Cosatu in the Western Cape has called for Indian workers employed in the docks of Cape Town to be “sent out of SA” as South Africans can do the jobs
  • In a controversial statement, the labour federation’s provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said on Thursday the union was concerned that many workers “are being imported from India to do work in the docks of Cape Town”.
  • Ehrenreich said the federation was not being xenophobic, “but we are defending our jobs and our livelihoods in SA.”
  • He indicated Cosatu would march on the docks later this month and “stop the jobs from continuing until SA workers are employed.”

Lily Mine voluntary retrenchments

  • Employees of Lily gold mine in Barberton have been informed that they may begin to apply for voluntary severance packages as the mine has no money to pay their salaries yet.
  • This was announced by a business rescue practitioner citing operational reasons and a lack of funding.
  • Lily Mine, owned by Vantage Goldfields, was placed under business rescue administration following a major collapse that led to three workers being trapped underground, and the subsequent closure of the mine

LEGAL

Aurora directors

  • Both Cosatu and Solidarity commented positively on the Supreme Court of Appeal’s decision to deny an appeal application by directors of Aurora Empowerment Systems.
  • The directors, Khulubuse Zuma, Zodwa Mandela, Thulani Ngubani, Solly Bhana and Fazel Bhana were found liable by the North Gauteng High Court in their personal capacities for the looting of Pamodzi mining assets worth R1.7 billion.
  • About 5,300 mine workers lost their livelihoods as a result of the looting and economic vandalism by the Aurora directors

Court gives go ahead to silicosis/TB class action suit against gold mining companies

  • The High Court in Johannesburg has certified a class action against gold mining companies in SA by mineworkers suffering from silicosis and tuberculosis (TB).
  • The landmark judgment paves the way for tens of thousands of mineworkers and former mineworkers to sue the mining companies for damages.
  • “After examining legal prescripts‚ we reached a conclusion that there are sufficient issues to certify a class action where there would be two classes: the silicosis class; and the TB class‚” the judge, Phineas Mojapelo‚ said in court on Friday morning.
  • The 69 class representatives in the case were acting on behalf of thousands of former mineworkers‚ and are seeking compensation for having contracted silicosis and pulmonary TB at the mines.
  • The respondents were 30 mining companies that represent the entire gold mining industry in SA.

REMUNERATION & COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

SAA wage negotiations

  • Wage negotiations at South African Airways (SAA) are headed towards mediation, with a date being awaited from the CCMA, while the airline on Thursday moved to dispel perceptions it had sufficient cash to meet high wage demands.
  • This follows an announcement by unions on Tuesday that they had raised their wage demands from single digits to 11%, after SAA Chairwoman Dudu Myeni said on Friday that SAA was financially sound and “had money”.
  • United Association of SA’s (Uasa), the National Transport Movement (NTM), the SA Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) had been bargaining at SAA since the beginning of April

Suspension of Kwazulu-Natal government performance bonuses

A circular sent out by the KwaZulu-Natal Premier’s office that implied labour unions were consulted in a decision to suspend performance bonuses for workers was untrue, union representatives said

  • The circular, which stated that a meeting was held with organised labour on May 4 said: “The payment of performance bonuses for the 2015/16 performance cycle [will] be suspended with immediate effect pending the finalisation of engagements with organised labour through the office of the premier.”

Johannesburg and Cape Town salaries

  • Career Junction recently launched its 2016 Salary Review, which shows that Gauteng remains the best paying province, by some margin.
  • The report looks at salaries as offered by companies for top occupations across Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
  • According to the findings, the city of gold remains the place to be in 2016 in terms of best earnings.  This is particularly true for professionals who work within the Financial, Engineering, Admin and Sales sectors.
  • As an example, Finance professionals who reside in the Western Cape can expect to earn between 23% and 31% less than their Gauteng counterparts for the same job.
  • In other industries such as the Construction, ICT, Design, Media & Arts and Manufacturing sectors, the gap between provinces shrinks substantially.
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