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Shopsteward Volume 26 No. 2

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  |  Memorandum

Memorandum to the Department of Labour and the Premier

31 May 2013

Today, 31st May 2013, the Congress South African Trade Unions, together with its affiliates the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union and Food and Allied Workers union, with support from all the COSATU Affiliates are gathered here to jealously defend the gains that workers fought for tirelessly as contained in the constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Labour Relations Act; Basic Conditions of Employment Act and other labour legislation.

Our members working in the farms, private security and cleaning who earn nothing, who are so vulnerable, are gathered here to display their dissatisfaction at the manner in which the Labour inspectors in the Province betrayed them and become spectators if not a machinery assisting employers to enrich themselves through denying employees their benefits, in simple terms failing to comply with sectoral determinations.

The Labour inspectors claim to continuously conduct inspections of security and cleaning companies and find nothing irregular but workers are not paid overtime, not paid bonuses, not paid hourly rate as prescribed and other companies deny them to take annual leave, maternity leave and sick leave. We have records of all complaints lodged for years, but inspectors fail to enforce compliance as empowered by the Act.

Chapter Ten of BCEA section 64 give inspectors the following powers which they have failed to apply:

(a) Advising employees and employers of their rights and obligations in terms of employment law.
(b) Conducting inspections in terms of this chapter.
(c) Investigating complaints made to a labour inspector.
(d) Issuing compliance orders.

The inspection must cover amongst various provisions in labour legislation the following:

  • Private Security and Cleaning Sectoral determinations.
  • Compliance with minimum wages.
  • Unemployment Insurance Contribution Act ,and
  • Compensation of Injuries and Diseases Act.

The employers just disregarded the above legislation, even though there are inspectors given powers to compel them to comply, or else face the music. Instead the custodians of the labour laws are folding their arms and allowing these employers to do as they wish with workers. This to us is equal to modern slavery and we will fight to the bitter end to pressurise the Department of Labour inspectors to do their work of enforcing compliance.

Here is a list of companies not complying and areas of non-compliance:

1. Binang Security Failed to pay workers annual bonuses for 5 years. Complaints have been lodged at Vryburg labour centre yet up to now for more than 3 years nothing has happened. The employer pays workers after one and half months, sometimes two months but expects work to be done.
2. Kopanelo Security Failed to pay workers Annual Bonuses for two years. Complaints have been lodged in Mafikeng labour centre, and the company made a commitment to pay in February 2013 yet up to now nothing happened. (The company claims to be owed by the Department of Human Settlements.)
3. Tshedza Protective Services. Failed to pay workers bonuses for two years. Complaints have been lodged in Mafikeng labour centre, and the company made a commitment to pay by February 2013 yet up to now nothing has happened. (The company claims to be owed by Department of Public Works)
4. Sausalito Estate- M.I.B Cleaning Services. Both companies belong to one person and are not complying on wages and have failed to pay bonuses. (The company claims to be owed by the department of Social Development)
5. Fawcett Security. Failed to pay workers their salaries for up to two months, failed to pay bonuses for two years. A case has been lodged at Rustenburg labour centre yet up to now nothing has happened.
6. Femgiene Cleaning Services. Failed to pay overtime, holidays and annual bonuses. A case has been lodged at Klerksdorp labour centre yet up to now nothing has happened.
7. Cristal Mount Workplace. Failed to pay annual bonuses, unlawful deduction and non-payment of sick leave. A case has been lodged at Klerksdorp labour centre but up to now there is no progress.
8. Fidelity Security Cash Payment Master (CPS). Non-compliance on wages and deduction of bonuses. A case has been lodged in Klerksdorp labour centre but nothing happened.

These are other companies failing to comply with sectoral determination on wages.

  • Mr Cleaning- Mafikeng
  • Arabang Cleaning Services- Mafikeng
  • Naledi Cleaning Services
  • Xolani Protection Services- Thusong
  • Atlie Security- Mafikeng
  • Mafsec
  • R.T.S Services & Protection- Mafikeng
  • IKP Security & Training Company- Mafikeng
  • Manche Security Services Mafikeng
  • Batlhokomedi Management Services Mafikeng
  • Kgomaganang Security
  • Sibongile Security Services
  • Mabotwane Security
  • Naphtronic Security- Mafikeng
  • Capital Protection Service- Mafikeng
  • National Professional Security Services Mafikeng, Klerksdorp & Rustenburg.
  • Watch Guard- Klerksdorp
  • Quick Fast Security Potch, Ventersdorp & Klerksdorp
  • J.P Security Wolmaransstad

NB. 90% of the above companies have won tenders with government.

The compensation on Occupational Diseases and Injuries Act (Act no. 130 of 1993) was promulgated by the acting President of South Africa on 24 September 1993 and was amended by Act no 61 of 1997. This act gives rights to workers to claim compensation if they get injured while on duty or contract an occupational disease.

Since its promulgation, not much work has been done to build the capacity of the workers in the vulnerable sectors, in particular the farm workers and casual workers.

In most areas employers are failing to make contributions to the fund and register their employees accordingly. And it is the function of the Department of Labour to make sure that all employers comply with all the labour laws.

COSATU has noted that many workers are sitting at home due to incapacity which is caused by occupational injuries or diseases and these workers have not been compensated because they have not made claims and those who have made claims they are been rejected on the basis of them being late.

The Minister of Labour pronounced the sectoral determination for the farm workers in January 2013 and since her pronouncement we have seen the arrogance of farmers who are threatening workers with retrenchments and all forms of dismissals.

Some farmers in the province have failed to implement this sectoral determination, while at the same time they are not applying for an exemption.

COSATU has noted that some farmers have applied to import labour from the neighbouring countries which is a move we do not object to; but as COSATU we say those workers, as they arrive in the country, must be paid according to the sectoral determination.

COSATU has noted the spate of attacks and farm killings which affect both the farm workers and the farm owners. We have also noted the manner in which the cases that are reported by the farm workers are been treated by the NPA and the entire criminal justice system as opposed to that of their bosses.

The constitution of our country calls for everyone to be treated equally irrespective of their race, gender, creed and social standing.

We therefore demand the following:

1. All companies who fail to comply with the sectoral determination and other labour laws must be compelled to comply within 14 days after handing this memorandum or be punished as prescribed by BCEA and other labour laws.
2. Labour inspectors who fail to do their work must be disciplined and if found guilty must be dismissed.
3. There must be a blitz inspection of all the above companies and shop stewards must accompany the inspectors.
4. Companies mentioned above must be denied contracts with Government and those who have contracts now but have failed to comply must have their contracts terminated.
5. Amnesty for all the late applications on the claims on injury on duty and compensation for occupational diseases.
6. Protection of farm workers and the implementation of the sectoral determination as pronounced by the minister of labour in January 2013.
7. The end of racism, victimisation and all forms of unfair labour practises in all the vulnerable sectors which include retail, security, cleaning, farms, domestic workers and many more.
8. The prioritisation of the cases of farm workers in the same way that the cases of the farm owners are being prioritised.
9. The protection of the farm workers by the entire criminal justice system.

We are not going to stop our action if the above demands are not met. We demand a positive response on the above demands within 14 days from today.

_________________________
FOR COSATU

__________________________
FOR NWP GOVERNMENT

_________________________
For Department of labour

_________________________
For NPA

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