DISPUTES, INDUSTRIAL ACTION & DEMONSTRATIONS

Joburg Metrobus strike

  • Johannesburg Metrobus drivers embarked on unprotected strike action regarding the decision to outsource bus inspectors.

Untu’s and Gautrain

  • The United National Transport Union’s (Untu’s) request that the CCMA should issue a ‘strike certificate’ in respect of its wage dispute with the Bombela Operating Company (BOC) which operates Gautrain was denied.
  • A certificate of non-resolution of the dispute will not be issued until all legal points raised before the CCMA have been addressed.
  • BOC contends that Untu fails to meet the minimum threshold of 50 percent+1 of employees being members, as required in terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
  • It has issued the union with a 90-day notice, effective from 1 July, of termination of the agreement.
  • During the 90-day notice period, Untu will be afforded the opportunity to recover its majority status, but BOC is of the opinion that during this period the union does not have the right to substantively negotiate with the company as it is no longer the majority union.
  • The CCMA has granted the BOC seven days to file its application to seek clarity on this issue.

JOB MARKET: JOB CREATION & RETRENCHMENTS

Sibanye’s Cooke 4 Operations

Sibanye indicated that it will commence talks with unions on the future of its loss-making Cooke 4 Operations which could put about 2,500 jobs (1,700 permanent employees and 800 contractors) on the line if the gold producer decides to close operations

  • Sibanye-led consultations in September 2014 resulted in the company and unions deciding to implement certain measures to return the operation to profitability.
  • However, the interventions, and even the firmer gold price this year, have not helped turn around the Cooke 4 Operations.

LEGAL

Correctional Services and Solidarity

  • Solidarity has won its Constitutional Court appeal against the employment equity plan of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS).
  • The court found the department had unfairly discriminated against the coloured employees who were denied employment on the basis of the plan.
  • The union argued that the employer only considered national race demographics when effecting the policy instead of weighing in provincial ratios.
  • The court has ordered that the successful applicants’ remuneration and benefits be backdated from the day they would have been appointed, had they not been denied appointment.

REMUNERATION & COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

Gordhan appeals to workers to temper wage talks

  • With wage talks either in progress or beginning in many sectors, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan appealed to workers and employees to consider the economy in the decisions they make.
  • Speaking on Thursday on the side-lines of a conference, Gordhan said:  “We need to keep as stable a labour environment as we can, recognising the pressure that our economy is under.  “We need to find constructive solutions that will enable us to survive this trough and make sure that the efforts that we are making to grow the economy and create jobs begin to take root and produce results in the next six to nine months.”

MTN SA and CWU in wage deal

  • Cellular operator MTN SA announced that it reached a wage agreement with the Communication Workers Union (CWU).
  • No details of the deal is as yet available but it addresses the minimum wage in the organisation as well as pay for performance.
  • The signing of the agreement comes against the backdrop of a recognition agreement that both parties entered into last year.

Eskom and striking Rotek employees

  • Eskom confirmed that about 3,000 employees at its Rotek engineering facilities in Germiston is on strike over performance bonuses.
  • Eskom workers apparently got bonuses of 10% whilst Rotek employees received 6%.
  • Eskom confirmed that the bonuses paid were performance related.
  • It appears that Eskom may compromise and make an ex-gratia payment as it did in 2015.

Executive pay

  • According to PWC’s latest remuneration report executive directors of the largest JSE-listed companies were awarded increases in total guaranteed pay of between 9% and 12% during 2015.

ICASA

  • The legal strike at the ICASA, now in its second week, is causing major disruption as no licences can be issued.
  • Almost 100 staff went on strike on 4 July demanding a pay rise of 7% and bonus pay, back-dated to 2014.
  • The workers also want human resource policies scrapped.
  • These issues have been bubbling since 2014 when workers decided to abandon their memberships with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and have since consulted a legal and HR firm.
  • They took their matter to the CCMA, which granted the ICASA workers permission to strike.
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