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Thread: COSATU wish list.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    COSATU wish list.

    With the big COSATU convention on at the moment, I'm sure we're going to see lots of coverage on labour issues over the next few days. Here's the first round - changes the COSATU would like to see particularly in respect of the Labour Relations Act. (from M&G).
    Workers in South African enterprises employing fewer than 50 workers should be given the right to strike against retrenchment, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has proposed.

    The union federation also seeks a move to a 40-hour week as opposed to the current 45 hour week.

    In the secretariat's report, tabled at the start of a four-day conference at Midrand on Monday, it argues that the appropriate amendment should be made to the Labour Relations Act -- section 189a -- to put this into effect.

    ----

    In addition, the union federation said it should be made easier for vulnerable workers to organise. It also said the Labour Relations Act's vision of the role of bargaining councils should be reconsidered to ensure that the majority of workers were covered.

    "Bargaining councils should receive a full subsidy from the Department of Labour for all dispute resolutions services that they provide. In addition, we need to improve the extension of agreements to non-party employers," the document said.

    Cosatu also proposes that the Labour Relations Act be amended to exclude advocates and attorneys "who practice for their own account" from representing parties in individual dismissal cases.

    Cosatu said "unnecessary limits on workers' strike action" which still applied to solidarity strikes and the essential services, should be removed.

    "End the limitations on strikes in the Police Act, the Key Points Act and other apartheid legislation limiting freedom of association," the document said.

    ----

    The latest attack, it said, on workers rights began last year. "It essentially contended that the existing laws prevent the emergence of small business and by extension employment creation."
    Obviously, I'm not sure that business can see the value in any of these proposals.

    The removal of the right to legal representation is particularly interesting. It seems COSATU officials are keen to remove troublesome folk who understand the law when they are "negotiating" on dismissal cases.

    Full story here.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Yes, and the other thing they would like is "umshini wam"

    Eish, this just gets me down - and I'm feeling rather tired right now
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I had a bit of a chuckle when the union reps discovered Gallagher Estate had hired casuals to attend to cleaning whilst the cleaners are out on strike.

    One of COSATU's positions is against casualisation of the labour force.

    I wonder how they might have felt if they had to hold their conference at a venue that had not been cleaned for the last 6 weeks
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    I like that thought - can't you just see Modishe and Vavi trying to decide who should clean up?
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    It seems the problem has indeed been recognised by this story.
    Delegates started murmuring and Vavi spelt out the problem: "There's a court order prohibiting Satawu members from coming near cleaners not on strike."

    This order is to ensure that cleaners who want to work won't be intimidated.

    Vavi continued: "The two-hour delay is as a result of negotiations between Satawu comrades, Cosatu leaders and the cleaning personnel of this place to ensure the court order is not transgressed.

    "The cleaning personnel will be gone from these premises by one o' clock."

    Cosatu delegates welcomed this announcement, sensing a victory for the workers' class, but Vavi went on to mention a delicate subject: "Comrades, we're facing a big health risk.

    "Can you imagine how it will look if 3 000 people have to use the toilets and no one cleans them?

    "We'll have to come up with suggestions to show total solidarity with our comrades and also, at the same time, protect the health of the delegates."

    The delegates gave the problem some thought, but luckily nothing untoward had occurred by late on Monday night.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    More wishes from COSATU.

    More on COSATU's wish list from unions associated with the textile industry:
    The three unions involved in the textile protest were Sactwu (South African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union), Saccawu (the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers' Union) and Nehawu (the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union).

    In a joint resolution by the three unions, they called for a nationalisation "under workers' control" of the commanding heights of the economy, industries or companies where retrenchments were envisaged or had taken place.

    The unions also urged that the state should provide "a living unemployed benefit of at least R3 000 a month". The unions noted that the proposed R100 basic income grant "is wholly insufficient to meet the needs of the poor and unemployed".

    The three unions also called for the rejection of free trade agreements -- bilateral or multilateral -- that would lead to job losses and pledged to work with unions elsewhere in the world to defeat attempts through the World Trade Organisation to limit policy space for developing countries.

    The unions urged Cosatu and the South African Communist Party to "do everything in their power to redirect the energy of the state towards a planned economy capable of meeting the needs of the people and the poor ... such a planned economy must not rule out the possibilities of nationalisation and redistribution of the country's vast and enormous material resources".
    Full story from M&G here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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