DISPUTES, INDUSTRIAL ACTION & DEMONSTRATIONS

Post Office and CWU

  • The SA Post Office (Sapo) and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have agreed on a number of outstanding including that back payments from 2014 would be paid in August as well as an increase of 6.5% on salaries.
  • In addition 900 casual employees would be made permanent, which effectively means that there will be no casual Sapo workers by 1 August.

Dismissed Post Office workers

  • The 228 workers who were dismissed for embarking on an alleged illegal strike at Sapo’s headquarters in Centurion in June are planning to embark on a protest action to demand their reinstatement.
  • The action in June was organised by the Influential Information and Communication Union of SA (IICUSA), which has a partial recognition status, to raise concerns about the parastatal’s decision to suspend its secretary general Gibson Ramoadi.

Uber drivers join Satawu

  • About 500 Uber drivers have joined the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) in an attempt to institute legal action against Uber relating to working conditions and rates paid.
  • They also complain that Uber is able to kick drivers off the system without consultation if their rating falls below a certain level.

JOB MARKET: JOB CREATION & RETRENCHMENTS

Job losses reflects declining metals and engineering sector

  • Second-quarter employment data recently released by Statistics SA reflected a total loss of 15,553 jobs out of about 380,000 since the beginning of 2015 in the metals and engineering sectors.
  • This downward trend is getting cumulatively worse, with 3,550 and 6, 902 job losses being recorded in the third and fourth quarter of 2015 respectively, and 9,012 job losses in the first quarter of this year.

Vantage Goldfields (Lily Mine) and AfroCan

  • Australia’s Vantage Goldfields plans to sue Canadian producer AfroCan Resources Gold for reneging on an $11.3 million (R164.4m) investment in Lily Gold Mine that would have seen miners being paid their salaries.
  • Vantage, which owns Lily and Barbrook mines, said it would take legal action after what it described as a “setback” for the Lily mine, which remains in business rescue.
  • Vantage said AfroCan had breached the agreement to invest in the group and had failed to remedy the breach.
  • Vantage’s chief executive, Mike McChesney, stated that the AfroCan funds were urgently required to commence the business rescue plan and to pay workers’ salaries.

Icasa strike

  • About 200 employees of broadcasting regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) embarked on strike action regarding several demands which include the payment of salary increases dating back to 2014.
  • According to the spokesman of the employees the strike was sparked by a 2014 decision by Icasa to implement “organisational realignment”.  He said Icasa had promised the process would not affect salaries of employees.
  • At the time the workers were represented by the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which was later dumped by workers after it failed to support their resolution to go on strike last year.

REMUNERATION & COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

Amcu wage demands to Amplats, Impala and Lonmin

  • The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has repeated its wage demand of R12,500 as an entry-level wage demand with increases of about 15% for higher categories.
  • The demands also include harmonisation and equalisation of some salaries and conditions of employment and substantial increases/equalisation of allowances
  • The sting however could be in the list of outstanding issues raised with each mining group amongst which share agreements (ESOPS) and skills development feature particularly since Amcu raised the profitability of the industry rather prominently in its introduction to the demands.
  • Amcu proposed commencement dates for the coming weeks for the wage negotiations.
  • PDF copies of the demands can be downloaded from the Amcu website: www.amcu.co.za.

Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) and Numsa

  • The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) will facilitate talks between Numsa and the RMI on 13 July 2016 after Numsa declared a dispute stating that no progress occurred after three weeks of bargaining.
  • The current agreement under the Motor Industries Bargaining Council expires on 31 August and covers a number of sectors.
  • Numsa is negotiating for what it calls a “living wage”, which it wants to come in from September.

NUM and Eskom

  • The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has rejected the 7% salary increase offered by Eskom, saying it would not accept anything less than 10%.
  • The union’s Paris Mashego said that, despite salary increases being suspended for Eskom executive directors, the NUM believed they would get pay hikes, but only after a wage increase has been settled for the workers.
  • The last week also saw the making public of the salaries, severance packages and bonuses paid to Eskom executives.

Cosatu proposed increases to public transport subsidies

  • The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) urged government to increase public transport subsidies and help lessen the effect of fuel price increases on the poor.
  • The petrol price went up by between 8 and 11 cents a litre, while the price of diesel increased by 42 cents.
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