Oliphant accuses Cosatu of partnering with labour brokers

2015-11-25 16:50
Mildred Oliphant. Picture: Alet Pretorius

Mildred Oliphant. Picture: Alet Pretorius

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Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant accused Cosatu of not being honest in its fight for the banning of labour brokers.

Oliphant faced off with delegates at the federation’s 12th national congress under way in Midrand, frankly telling them some of the affiliates were instructing labour brokers to pay or contribute skills levies to growing their coffers in the process.

“Be honest. You have also partnered with the very same companies using them or labour brokers themselves. You do that as individuals or investment companies on behalf of workers,” she charged.

“You have agreed that labour brokers must continue to do work in your organised industries.”

Oliphant said there were unions who also expressed their support for labour brokers.

This triggered a reaction from the 2500 delegates. Some mumbled and others whistled.

However, Oliphant did not name the affiliates. She consulted Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini while on the podium, and he advised her not to name and shame.

But National Union of Mineworkers general secretary David Siphunzi hit back at Oliphant, saying that she was protecting labour brokers.

He warned the minister to be careful because the labour brokers she was protecting did not put the ANC government in power but the workers, who could remove it again, did.

“Governments are overthrown by peasants. We don’t want the regulation of labour brokers but a complete ban,” he said.

Meanwhile, Oliphant said those were the issues that the congress needed to look at, suggesting that Cosatu should not throw stones while sitting in a glass house – even when it came to e-tolls.

Cosatu has been campaigning against the tolling of Gauteng freeways but it raised controversy when it emerged it had benefited – through its investment arm – from the improvement of Gauteng’s freeways through the consortium, Raubex.

“Comrades I am raising these challenges as a concerned cadre of our movement and with the hope that you will reflect on some of them during your deliberations and give guidance.”
Read more on:    cosatu  |  mildred oliphant

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