Cosatu wants labour laws enforced

2014-11-27 11:49

The Congress of SA Trade Union (Cosatu) in the North West has called on government to enforce all labour laws.

“The government must enforce all labour laws including the Employment Equity Act provisions that requires all employers to report on their disproportionate income differentials at all wage levels and submit plans for their progressive reductions,” Cosatu provincial secretary Solly Phetoe said today.

During public hearings in the North West by the National Assembly’s labour portfolio committee this week on a national minimum wage, Cosatu in the province also submitted that “vulnerable workers” be paid between R5 500 and R7 000 a month.

“As the federation of the poor working class we submitted that under the nine sectoral determinations that we have in the country none of that sectoral determinations is taking those workers out of poverty – workers are still trapped under poverty, inequalities, and the unemployment which is increasing daily,” he said.

Cosatu was happy that the provincial public hearing went well and that most workers in all sectors agreed with Cosatu that the majority of workers could not get out of poverty.

The public hearings were held in Klerksdorp on Tuesday and in Rustenburg yesterday.

During the hearings Cosatu defined “vulnerable” workers who should earn between R5 500 and R7 000 as domestic workers, farm workers, security industry workers, those working in the hospitality industry, and for wholesalers and retailers.

They also included taxi drivers and taxi administrators, taxi marshals, contractors and cleaning and health workers.

For mine workers the federation submitted R8 500 for surface work and R9 500 for underground work.

Phetoe said the minimum wage of R1 618 for domestic workers required by the domestic sectoral determination was too little for a domestic worker with a family of four.

Committee chairperson Lumka Yengeni said the input from mine workers was crucial and would be included in the committee’s final report.

“All the processes happening around the national minimum wage at [the] National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) will eventually come to the portfolio committee for consideration,” she said.

“The parliamentary process and the Nedlac process as led by the Deputy President [Cyril Ramaphosa] are not mutually exclusive. Both processes will inform whatever decision the committee arrives at.”

She also announced that the Gauteng and Free State legs of the public hearings had been postponed to a later date because members of the committee had to attend a sitting of Parliament today.

The Gauteng public hearing was scheduled to be held in Joburg today and in the Free State the hearing was planned for tomorrow in Bloemfontein.

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