Taking COSATU Today Forward Special Bulletin, 22 November 2021

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Norman Mampane

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Nov 22, 2021, 10:54:32 AM11/22/21
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COSATU TODAY

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Taking COSATU Today Forward Special Bulletin

‘Whoever sides with the revolutionary people in deed as well as in word is a revolutionary in the full sense’-Maoo

 

Our side of the story

Monday, 22 November 2021


‘Deepen the Back to Basics Campaign, Consolidate the Struggle for the NDR and Advance the Struggle for Socialism’

All workers urged to take Covid19 vaccine jabs!

Organize at every workplace and demand Personal Protective Equipment Now!

Defend Jobs Now!

Join COSATU NOW!

 

Contents                      

  • Workers Parliament: Back to Basics!

Ø  Employment and Labour busts sweat shop employing undocumented foreign nationals

  • South Africa
  • COSATU in the North-West Province calls for decisive leadership from the ANC IPC on the Mamusa saga
  • NEHAWU Limpopo to march to the Office of the Premier and the Department of Health as part of its Provincial Day of Action
  • International-Workers’ Solidarity!

Ø  Unifor fights against lockout at Ash Grove, Canada

Workers’ Parliament-Back2Basics 

Employment and Labour busts sweat shop employing undocumented foreign nationals

21 Nov 2021

Another sweat shop employing undocumented foreign nationals busted in operation led by Department of Employment and Labour 

Another sweat shop where workers are alleged to have been locked in the factory upwards of 21 days at a go has been busted.

This is the second Chinese sweat shop that has been busted in Gauteng with the first the owners of the first bust in 2019 now towards the end of trial in which they are accused of employing undocumented foreign nationals, using child labour, breaking of a multitude of labour laws as well as human trafficking.

In the latest joint multi-departmental bust, an employer and his seven workers were arrested in Randburg, Gauteng Province on Friday in a joint operation led by the Department of Employment and Labour in a partnership with the SAPS’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) and Home Affairs. This followed a tip-off.

Eric Shao, who is the owner of Sock Works, which was found by the Inspection and Enforcement Services to be in breach of many laws was arrested together with his fellow workers. They are due to appear at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday (22 November) and will be charged with violating South Africa’s Immigration Act and various labour laws.

It is a crime to employ undocumented foreign national and one of the possible charges is carrying forged documents and permits. The labour laws included violation of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA), the Unemployment Insurance Act, National Minimum Wage (NMW) among others.  In addition, workers are alleged to be working excessive working hours, have no contracts, are paid below the NMW, are sleeping in the factory building, males and females share ablution facilities.

The Department’s inspectors, accompanied by Hawks and Home Affairs officials staged an inspection at the company’s premises which is at 8 Meadow Brooklane Business Estate in Randburg.

During the two-and-a-half-hour operation, the owner is reported to have not been co-operative. He is alleged to have been carrying a loudspeaker and communicating with his lawyers via cellphone. Furthermore, he was obstructing the work of inspectors by refusing to answer questions fully, a conduct that is forbidden and punishable by law.

Chris Msibi, an inspector with department’s IES’ Statutory Service Unit said: “The outcome of the blitz inspection proves that when enforcement agencies work together, we are able to combat illegal activity in the country, protect workers, and strengthen compliance with employment laws in SA,” Msibi said.

The Gauteng Provincial Chief Inspector, Advocate Michael Msiza said the employer has been referred to the Magistrates Court for additional of criminal charges for failing to comply with the employment laws from the date the business commenced its operations to date.  He said should the employer also fail to comply with the enforcement notices issued, the employer will be referred to the Magistrates Court for criminal action and the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration for civil action.

“We are putting all violators of employment laws on notice. We are coming for you! We will not tolerate pre-Covid-19 challenges where employers continually violated labour laws with impunity and also continue with the employment of undocumented persons. This is just a start as we will be intensifying our joint inspections into many of troublesome sectors over the next few weeks,” Msiza said.

The company is alleged to be employing 23 workers. It was registered in the country in 2015. In October 2021 Sock Works moved into the new premises where the inspection was conducted.

The workers are employed and operate knitting machines, as stock packers and truck drivers. Following the arrest of the seven workers the other workers are said to have been off-duty. Of the 23 workers only two are said to be South Africans and the rest are from Mozambique and Zimbabwe.  Sock Works manufactures socks and allegedly supplied major retailers such Truworths, Markham, Foschini, Exact and Totalsports. 

Enquiries:
Musa Zondi

Cell: 067 426 4190
E-mail: 
musa....@labour.gov.za(link sends e-mail)

Issued by: Department of Employment and Labour

South Africa

COSATU in the North-West Province calls for decisive leadership from the ANC IPC on the Mamusa saga

Kopano Konopi, COSATU North-West Provincial Secretary, 22 November 2021

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North-West province has learned with disgust of the betrayal of the will of the people of Mamusa and the mandate of the ANC by organisationally ill-disciplined and politically immature individuals deployed as councillors by the ANC in the Mamusa Local Municipality.

The African National Congress was mandated by the voters in the Mamusa Local Municipality to govern the municipality working together with the community to build a better Mamusa.  However, this mandate was betrayed when some ANC councillors veered from the mandate of the organisation, decided to carry the mandate of dark forces and vote with the opposition to elect an EFF councillor as Speaker in a municipality that is outrightly won by the ANC.

These organisationally ill-disciplined and politically immature elements have shown the middle finger to the efforts of the liberation movement of renewal, hard work, development, self-correction and accountability.  It is for this reason COSATU in the province is calling on the Interim Provincial Committee of the African National Congress to exercise decisive leadership on the conduct of these councillors.

The ANC, over the weekend, subjected candidates for positions of Mayor, Speaker and Whip through intense and rigorous interviews to ensure that it deploys the correct comrades who understand its renewal, self-correction and accountability.

However, the efforts of the ANC to rebuild and renew effective local government that put the people first are undermined by those councillors who chose the path of division, conflict, and destruction.

As COSATU in the province we refuse to let our efforts of criss-crossing the province encouraging workers and our communities to vote for the ANC during the local government elections to be pushed down the drain by dark forces with gargantuan appetites for control and opulence.

It is on that understanding that we call on the Interim Provincial Committee of the ANC to investigate why and in whose interest did these ANC councillors defy the mandate of the organisation and vote an EFF councillor as Speaker in a municipality where the ANC won with outright majority. Thereafter, the ANC IPC and IRC must act decisively to send a strong message to whoever would want to copy the ill-discipline displayed in Mamusa that the ANC has passed the stage of impunity.

You have made commitments to the voters, and it is at this early stage that you must demonstrate the willingness to live up to your commitments.

________

NEHAWU Limpopo to march to the Office of the Premier and the Department of Health as part of its Provincial Day of Action

Moses Maubane, NEHAWU Limpopo Provincial Secretary, November 22, 2021

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] in Limpopo will on [Wednesday 24, 2021] as part of its Provincial Day of Action march to the Office of the Premier and the Department of Health to deliver memorandum of demands in relation to the crisis currently engulfing departments across the provincial government especially the Department of Health.

The Provincial Day of Action will be in a form of a march directed to the Premier of the Province and the Department of Health. The aim of the march is to sharply raise the following demands amongst others:

• Permanent Absorption of Community Healthcare Workers and all contract workers in the province.

• Removal of the Health HOD and the DDG for Healthcare Services for failure to manage the administration.

• Re-instatement of all our shopstewards dismissed across the province.

• Decentralisation of all powers to health institution for effective service delivery.

• Opening of Nursing College in the province.

• NO to the Outsourcing of the Provincial Medical Depot

• Demand for safety & security of our members in all health facilities

• Forensic Investigation on cases of tender fraud and corruption.

• Fill all funded vacant posts immediately.

• Stop union bashing by government departments now.

• Pay PMDS to all deserving workers.

• Insource all outsourced services in the Provincial Administration

• Demand fully funded organisational structures.

• Withdrawal of all Treasury directives imposing austerity measures.

Details of the march

Date: Wednesday November 24, 2021

Assembly time: 9am

Assembly point: Polokwane Hospital Park, Polokwane

Members of the media are invited to attend and to cover the march.

Issued by NEHAWU Limpopo Secretariat Office

For more information, please contact: Moses Maubane [Provincial Secretary] 063 685 1884 or email: Mo...@nehawu.org.za or Jacob Adams [Provincial Deputy Secretary] at 082 558 5966 or email to Ja...@nehawu.org.za

International-Solidarity 

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Unifor fights against lockout at Ash Grove, Canada

19 November, 2021

Having been locked out since May this year, more than a hundred workers are fighting to get their jobs back at Cimenterie Ash Grove, Canada owned by CRH, construction materials multinational of Irish origin.

Towards the end of 2020, 154 members of Unifor Local 177 learnt of the closure of two of the four kilns at the Joliette plant, putting at least half of their jobs at risk.

"It's obviously a shock-wave for workers. It's uncertainty on top of what everyone is already experiencing with the pandemic,"

Renaud Gagné, Unifor Quebec director, said at the time.

Even though the collective bargaining was still ongoing, Unifor members were illegally locked out on 22 May. The legal lockout started on 3 June.

Despite a severe lack of cement with rising market prices and a shortage of labour, Ash Grove refuses to use a recall list of current employees, which would allow workers to access other jobs in the company. Instead, the employer is using labour agencies and subcontractors.

Renaud Gagné says:

“This dispute is a direct attack on the very existence of a union in the company by local management. All we want is an opportunity to have seniority recognized and a right to training for positions that employees have never held.”

Since the start of the lockout, the union has organized a series of actions. On 22 October, Unifor together with Quebec Federation of Labor, held a mobilization in solidarity with the locked-out workers. On 8 October, Unifor members demonstrated at the Port of Trois-Rivières and in July, more than a hundred Unifor members and allies responded to the union's call for solidarity action in front of the Ash Grove cement plant in Joliette.

In response to the union mobilisation, Ash Grove management obtained a new injunction limiting union actions. The employer also filed a 2.6 CAD million (about 2.1 USD million) management grievance for lost production and equipment breakdown and dismissed two members of Local 177, including a member of the bargaining committee.

In a letter to CRH CEO Albert Manifold, IndustriALL Global Union is demanding an end to the union busting at the Joliette site in Quebec, Canada.

Alexander Ivanou, materials industries officer at IndustriALL, says:

“We are shocked at the employer’s behaviour. We express our strong solidarity with Unifor members and will seek solidarity from the CRH global union network and EWC. The union busting must stop immediately.”

CRH Canada employs 4,000 people in 100 production facilities. Worldwide, the global giant employs more than 76,000 people in over 3,000 locations in 29 countries on four continents.

__________________________

Norman Mampane (Shopsteward Editor)

Congress of South African Trade Unions

110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street, Braamfontein, 2017

P.O.Box 1019, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa

Tel: +27 11 339-4911 Direct line: 010 219-1348

 

 

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