South African union NUMSA wins right to organise workers, while bosses are set to appeal!

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South African workers demanding higher wages and an end to privatisation

National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, NUMSA, and mining company, SASM, have vowed to fight it out in court as the company intends to appeal a judgment handed down by the Labour Court, which gave the union the right to organise workers.

NUMSA regional secretary Kabelo Ramokhathali said on Thursday that the workers were shot at by private security company personnel as they engaged in the picket line in the morning.
He said: ‘Four of our members were shot at with rubber bullets in close range, two sustained very serious injuries because one was shot in the head and another in the chest.
‘The employer is adamant that it will not engage with NUMSA.
‘This is more about union bashing than anything else.’
Part of the grievances is the disparity of 42 rands per hour for entry-level workers against the current industry benchmark of 59.10 rands per hour.
Ramokhathali added: ‘The strike is indefinite. We will not stop it until our demands are met.
‘It is curious that the company funded by our own Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is now turning violent on the workers and defying court orders.’
In a response from Amelia Berman of Stein Scop Attorneys, SASM, which has recently been acquired by Alfeco Holdings as part of a restructuring and rescue of the business, said it had ongoing engagements with Future of South African Workers Union (Fosawu), who represent the vast majority of employees at SASM.
SASM claimed Numsa is a minority fringe union and had elected to embark on an ‘unprotected and violent strike’ which had resulted in the dismissal of 124 workers found guilty of misconduct in a disciplinary process.
NUMSA responded by saying that workers have a right to join a union if they want to and that they are acting legitimately.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions in KwaZulu Natal (KZN), is still reeling in shock over the devastating and unfortunate incident that claimed the lives of four construction workers and left one seriously injured during the collapse of the sandbank in Ballito.
After the news broke out on Saturday morning, the provincial leadership of COSATU in KZN immediately paid a visit to the area in response to the call.
COSATU leadership further interacted with the other workers who survived the incident, family members and various service providers who were at the site.
It was disheartening to witness the trauma and devastation of all those affected.
In previous years, workers have perished during the construction of Ballito Mall, at the construction site in Jacobs.
To date, there is no information as to how those matters were concluded, which remains a concern for COSATU.
Considering the recent incidents that have claimed the lives of workers, COSATU is irate about the continued neglect by some employers, of the health and safety standards which are clearly enshrined in the Occupational Health & Safety Act.
COSATU sends its heartfelt condolences to all the victims and workers who were affected by this accident.
We call on the Department of Employment & Labour (DEL) to hold non-compliant companies accountable and ensure that matters of consequence management are taken seriously.
There must be full accountability on all the previous cases where workers have lost their lives or injured on duty.
We shall continue to engage DEL to allow COSATU as one of the key stakeholders, an observer status during these investigations and hearings.
We wish to thank all the good-hearted people and various service providers who came out in their numbers to assist during the rescue and recovery of the deceased workers.
COSATU commits itself to working with the families and the rest of the workers to help them find closure and ensure that their interests are not overlooked.
Today, the leadership of COSATU together, with the Premier of the Province, Nomusa Ncube-Dube, will do a follow-up visit to the families of the deceased workers and further visit the survivor at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital.
Labour union, The Democratic Municipal and Allied Workers Unions of South Africa (DEMAWUSA), says its lawyers are working on its application that will soon be filed in the Labour Court in Johannesburg.
This, as the City of Johannesburg’s waste management company Pikitup’s strike enters a second week.
The union wants the company’s management to furnish it with records related to the hiring of casual workers through companies that Pikitup has awarded
tenders.
The contracts are about to expire and the union is demanding that the casual workers be employed permanently.
DEMAWUSA’s secretary-general, Meshack Ntshauba said: ‘We suspect that all the companies that have been awarded tenders for the casual workers at Pikitup do not meet a certain criteria. For example – these companies do not have physical offices, are not registered with the Department of Labour and UIF. So, we are going to court.
Pikitup deployed the Public Order Policing (POP) unit to remove protesters who were obstructing depots, ensuring employees could resume waste collection services for City of Johannesburg residents.
Protesters including expanded public works programme (EPWP) employees, whose contracts were expiring, and community members blocked entrances to the Norwood, Selby, Marlboro, Randburg, Diepsloot, Midrand and Roodepoort depots. They were all demanding permanent employment with the waste management company.

  • Former South African President Jacob Zuma has launched a scathing attack on some of the country’s top judges after he was barred from running for parliament on Monday.

In his first interview since the ban, Zuma said the Constitutional Court was wrong to decide he was unfit to run, based on his 2021 conviction for contempt of court.
Zuma said: ‘I expected that from our judges, but they are definitely wrong. Not correct.
‘The constitution should be changed.’
Ahead of next week’s general election, Zuma had been campaigning under the banner of the newly formed uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party.
He joined the party after falling out with the governing African National Congress (ANC), which he used to lead.
The electoral commission argued that the constitution bars anyone who was sentenced to more than 12 months in prison from serving as a lawmaker – a view backed by the Constitutional Court judges.
Zuma was convicted in 2021 for refusing to testify at an inquiry investigating corruption during his presidency.
His lawyers had insisted he was entitled to become an MP as his sentence was reduced to three months after current President Cyril Ramaphosa released him from prison in what was widely seen as an attempt to placate the former president’s angry supporters.
Zuma added: ‘The judges of the Constitutional Court have acted very funny to me – towards me in particular.
‘They are not taking into account the will of the people of this country, they use their own will.’
He was president from 2009 to 2018 before being forced out as leader of the ANC amid allegations of widespread corruption in his government.