REMUNERATION AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

Petrol strike

  • With the so-called Perol Strike entering its second week, employers in the petroleum sector have agreed to resume negotiations with the striking Chemical Energy Paper Printing Wood and Allied Workers’ Union (Ceppwawu).
  • With 15,000 Ceppwawu members allegedly on strike, the union is demanding a 9% wage increase and employers are offering 7%.

Aspen Pharmacare

  • About 1.200 members of the SA Chemical Workers Union (Sacwu) is striking since last week at Aspen Pharmacare in the Eastern Cape, the country’s largest generic pharmaceutical manufacturer.
  • Their main demand is a 10% increase, while Aspen is offering 7%.

Eskom wage negotiations

  • The Eskom wage negotiations involving the NUM, Solidarity and Numsa deadlocked at the CCMA last Monday.
  • The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has indicated that it is seeking a revised wage offer failing which they would consider taking its 15,000 members at Eskom on strike.
  • The NUM is prepared to take its fight for the right to strike at power utility Eskom all the way to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) – currently Eskom is classified as an essential service.

Telkom and the CWU

  • The Communication Workers Union (CWU) marched to Telkom headquarters last Tuesday to deliver a memorandum of wage related demands.
  • Workers are demanding, among other things, an 11% salary increase, six months’ fully paid maternity leave, and a moratorium on retrenchments and outsourcing for checkpoint divisions.
  • If nothing is done by next Thursday, they will march to the JSE, said CWU general secretary Aubrey Tshabalala.

DISPUTES, INDUSTRIAL ACTIONS AND DEMONSTRATIONS

News channel ANN7

  • Television news station ANN7 fired five more journalists last Tuesday.
  • They had taken part in protests and other demonstrations in solidarity with eight colleagues who were dismissed in June.
  • The SA National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) on Wednesday expressed its concern over the latest round of firings.  “We are concerned with what appears to be a continued trend by some media houses to violate media freedoms and contravene labour laws,” it said in a statement.
  • Sanef will ask for a meeting with ANN7’s editor-in-chief, Moegsien Williams.  “We are now exploring other legal options as part of a plan to help the dismissed journalists, as we seek to protect those who continue to work in hostile environments,” the forum indicated.

NTUC and Icasa

  • According to the National Trade Union Congress of SA (NTUC), Workers at the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) are prepared to continue with a five-week long strike for as long as it takes for their demands to be met.
  • NTUC announced earlier this week that it had received 123 applications of membership from workers at Icasa, who previously belonged to the Communications Workers Union (CWU).

JOB MARKET, JOB CREATION, RESTRUCTURING AND RETRENCHMENTS

Women in mining

  • According to International Women in Mining (IWiM) director Barbara Dischinger, more women globally are occupying technical positions – in mine engineering, mechanical engineering and metallurgy instead of occupying the traditional service type positions.
  • She reports that women are reaching supervisory and managerial levels and successfully filling these technical positions.
  • WiM South Africa chairperson Noleen Pauls says women representation in the SA mining sector grew from 7% in 1995 to 14% at the start of 2015.
  • But, by the end of 2015, the number of women in SA had decreased significantly to 10%.
  • Pauls attributes this decline to the high number of retrenchments and optimisation initiatives undertaken during the period owing to the challenging economic environment.

Seifsa warns of possible further job losses

  • The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) says it is “extremely concerned” about persistently lower confidence and production levels, which could lead to possible further job losses in the metals and engineering sector.
  • Seifsa expects a 3% year-on-year contraction in production for 2016, which means that job losses are likely to accelerate over the coming months.  “The metals and engineering sector is in a critical condition and it seems more certain that the patient will suffer more setbacks over the next six months before improvements can be expected,” Henk Langenhoven, chief economist at Seifsa

AB InBev announces top management

  • Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) on Thursday announced details of the 17-person top management team that will run the post-merger entity and it emerged that it will be clearing out all the top SABMiller executives.
  • Analysts said the top team had to be dominated by AB InBev executives to ensure the AB InBev culture took a firm hold, but they were surprised by the exclusion of SABMiller’s top African executive, Mark Bowman.
  • It is unclear whether Bowman, who joined SAB in 1993 and was appointed MD of SABMiller Africa in 2007, chose to leave or was not invited to stay.
  • The only SABMiller executive appointed to the top-17 team is Mauricio Leyva, who is MD of SABMiller SA.
  • Jabu Mabuza, Business Unity SA chairman, who has had an association with SABMiller since the 1990s, has been appointed chairman of the Africa board.

COMMUNITY AND GENERAL

Relook at mining community BEE

  • There are plans to reform how local communities manage and spend mining royalties after a corruption probe found that a $44 million fund bankrolled by Lonmin Plc had been exhausted.
  • Almost all the money received by the Bapo Ba Mogale community during the past 20 years has been spent, with the biggest amount used to build a R80-million palace for a tribal leader, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela reported on 5 July.
  • “We need to develop a policy mechanism that can prevent it from recurring anywhere else whilst also dealing with the remedies of what has happened with the Bapo,” Obed Bapela, deputy minister at the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, said.
  • Mining companies are required by law to help improve the living conditions of local communities.  Some companies sell or finance equity stakes to black investors and can also pay royalties to community groups.
  • Lonmin indicated that they would welcome such investigation.

Killing of HR manager

  • A man who murdered his company’s human resources manager in an attempt to evade a disciplinary hearing has failed in his attempt to have a life sentence reduced.
  • Judge Thoba Poyo-Dlwati rejected Buhlebuyeza Majola’s appeal against his sentence‚ telling the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday that the life term imposed by the Mtunzini High Court was correct.
  • Majola‚ who worked at Bell Equipment in Richards Bay‚ recruited Sibusiso Majola and together they went to Zenzele Nxumalo’s home on 5 August 2011 where they killed him with semi-automatic firearms.
  • Majola executed the murder plot the day after Nxumalo told him he faced disciplinary proceedings for having been absent without leave.
  • The court found that killing Nxumalo only for performing his duties was an aggravating factor.

Training for new local government councillors

  • SA’s new local government councillors will hit the ground running with intensive training and support measures in place for them.
  • MEC for local government in the Western Cape, Anton Bredell, advised:  “We started preparations for the ‘day one agenda’ and what must happen in the first week, two years ago.”
  • The SA Local Government Association (Salga) and the national department of cooperative governance would alternate training, bolstered by many videos.
  • A special degree course has also been jointly created by the University of Stellenbosch and the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality that will not only solidify new councillors’ knowledge, but would also result in a university degree by the time their term was over.
  • Twelve different training modules have been devised to accommodate different learning styles and needs.
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