03 June 2015

crossed fingers at handshake

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and organised labour within the Public Sector Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) is dismayed and deeply angered by the provocative behaviour of the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) that has been mischievously attempting to swindle the workers out of their increase using deceitful methods.
This follows after Circular 1 of 2015 of the DPSA on the implementation of the salary adjustment for the public service personnel.

In the circular the employer is directing the Departments to implement a 6.4% salary adjustment instead of the 7% as agreed to. They further argued that the alleged overpayment of 0.6% in the salary adjustment of 2014/15 and the actual inflation figures issued by the National Treasury at 5.6% which is lower than the projected 6.2% which was calculated to adjust the salaries for 2015/16.

Organised labour finds this latest approach abominable and confrontational to say the least, because the employer has no business attempting to link a lapsed agreement with a new one. When parties left the negotiation table on 19 May, there was an agreement by the employer that employees would receive a salary adjustment of 7% on 1 April, irrespective of what previous agreements might have determined. As a result, thereof the 2012-2015 agreement should not have an effect on these current negotiations.

Labour out rightly rejects the employers interpretation and condemn the employers behaviour of repeatedly changing agreed positions, as this is devious and will destroy the little trust left from the negotiation process said, Godfrey Selematsela Deputy President of FEDUSA. Furthermore, FEDUSA is of the view that this is an attack on the collective bargaining process which is one of the most essential functions of unions in pursuing workers interests. Therefore labour will unite in opposing the employer’s interpretation and are considering withdrawing from the entire agreement.

We find it regrettable that the employer is sabotaging service delivery by deceitfully trying to incapacitate and swindle the workers out of their salary increase. A discouraged and demotivated workforce is not good for the country and service delivery is essential as it promotes and enhances decent work and life for all said Godfrey Selematsela, Deputy President of FEDUSA.

[ 366 words]

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry. See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For Interviews, please contact

Godfrey Selematsela
FEDUSA Deputy President
083 653 3021



gold ining sector

27 May 2015

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and UASA are concerned that unrealistic wage demands could destroy thousands of jobs and discourage investors in the gold sector said Franz Stehring, UASA Divisional Manager Mining. FEDUSA supports the call of the Deputy Minister of Labour Phathekile Holomisa that unions should put the interest of workers upfront during these upcoming wage negotiations and place decent work security at the centre of the campaign of organized labour.

FEDUSA calls on employers in mining sector, NUM and AMCU to act in good faith and not to try outdo each other with their demands and it is more important for employers to be transparent about the financial information of mining companies. Trade union leaders should prepare their members and workers about economic realities of the gold mining sector. FEDUSA is of the opinion that trade unions involved in the negotiations should consider key factors such as the financial performance of the companies involved; productivity and the ultimate impact wage demands would have on worker security. Sustainability in the gold sector should benefit workers, communities, shareholders and the fiscus, as gold is a substratum of the economy of South Africa argues, Koos Bezuidenhout FEDUSA President.

FEDUSA remains of the view that disputes; including those related to wage negotiations, can and should be settled without resorting to damaging strike action. Strikes could either destroy value, can reduce confidence in our companies and country, or, ultimately, threaten many jobs in the labour market. Therefore both companies and employees lose during strikes. Implications of strikes could lead to employers making a decision about closure of operations. Therefore Unions and employers need to strive for middle ground of what the workers want and what companies can afford without any negative impact. Nonetheless, the impact of a strikes are significant and could undermine the long-term sustainability of operations. This was eminently visible in the most recent platinum strikes that took place where also workers were killed said, Stehring.

Entry level employees in the gold mining sector are typically relatively unskilled or semi-skilled, and have received minimal formal education. Levels of literacy and numeracy in the industry remain low although efforts to improve these have been in place for many years. Nevertheless, the gold mining industry typically incentivises employees with bonuses should specific safety, production and other targets be met. These bonuses may double the cash portion of monthly wages. Therefore when trade unions negotiate and make wage demands on behalf of members they should take this into consideration.

FEDUSA supports the two-year wage agreement that was reached on 10 September 2013 with National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), UASA and Solidarity, representing 72% of employees at the time. This agreement was to bring certainty which is in the best interest of employees, the industry, and our country. Historically, the gold industry has always conducted wage negotiations at a centralised level and the process has always been inclusive and fair. Going forward, we will continue to bargain in good faith with the elected representatives of employees said, Bezuidenhout.

The gold industry remains a significant contributor to the South African economy and provides critical employment and socio-economic benefits to communities that live adjacent to mines and in labour-sending areas. FEDUSA has a good relations with the President of the Chamber of Mines, Mr Mike Tekie and is of the view that gold industry will continue to be mainstay in our economy and as a significant employer for many years to come, as long as all stakeholders understand the importance of working together and strife towards a common goal said, Stehring.

FEDUSA hopes that the trade unions involved in the negotiations in the gold sector will recognise the constrains on both the employers and employees and hope UASA will lead the process to find common ways through the conflicts and the politics to minimise any potential damage to this sector. FEDUSA would like to see stability and further growth in the gold sector for sustainability of jobs and thereof potential future job creation opportunities concludes, Bezuidenhout.

[673 words (excluding heading)]

 

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

 Koos Bezuidenhout

FEDUSA

President

0823720020

 

Franz Stehring

UASA

Divisional Manager Mining

0828065164



School admission criteria

27 May 2015

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and its Affiliated trade union the Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysersunie (SAOU) welcomed the Johannesburg’ High Court ruling by Judge Charles Wright that schools should continue with the same admission criteria they are currently using said Dennis George, FEDUSA, General Secretary.

FEDUSA is of the opinion that the Department of Education was taking away the rights of schools and governing bodies in order to take charge of the admission process and policy procedures.

A resolution was taken by the Federations Management Committee on Tuesday, 26 May 2015 to engage with the Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa on this critical and important issue relating to the youth of our country, said Chris Klopper, CEO of the SAOU.

[185 words excluding headings]

– ENDS –

 FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 For more information:

 Dennis George FEDUSA (General Secretary) 084 805 1529

Chris Klopper SAOU (Chief Executive Officer) 083 708 7733



20 May 2015

e-tolls

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) rejects the new proposal of the reduction of the e-toll tariffs from a maximum of R450 to R225 per month, as this would entrench the user pay system within metropolitan areas said Koos Bezuidenhout FEDUSA President. Furthermore, government does not indicate the process to review the future tariff increases of e-tolls, which creates uncertainty and would result in continuous non-payment and the boycott by road users.  This approach stands contradictory to the principle of public finance and is indicative to the principle of the ability to pay; the burden is effectively shifted to the working people in Gauteng.

The e-toll system is also very expensive to administer and Government failed to consult within NEDLAC with the social partners at this level to offset a more effective and efficient system based on the fuel levy system which is easier to administer said Dennis George FEDUSA General Secretary. FEDUSA is concerned that Government intends to use the e-toll system to hold the road users at ransom through the process of linking the payments of e-tolls to motor licence renewal, while Government does not have the information technology and the infrastructure to administer such an approach.

FEDUSA calls on Government to abandon the e-toll system and introduce a new proposal to NEDLAC dealing with the burning issues of funding of new roads and maintaining thereof over a short, medium and long term period. The FEDUSA leadership will consult with our grassroots in Gauteng in order to obtain a mandate from our members said Bezuidenhout.

Furthermore, our members have previously argued that they were not consulted properly, the system is not even the most effective, and that they are already being charged a fuel levy, which is supposed to be used in the maintenance of the roads. At the beginning of the process Government and SANRAL explained that it is simply to collect money to repay the loan incurred in the upgrades – now we are forced to pay into perpetual said George.

(336 Words)

For Interviews, please contact

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 085 1529



denver train station accident - 28 April 2015

28 APRIL 2015

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and its affiliated union, the United National Transport Union (UNTU) expressed utter dismay at Metrorail regarding the horrific train incident at Denver Station earlier this morning. The collision between the two overcrowded trains resulted in the fatality of a train driver, with dozens of commuters injured in the morning rush hour. The deceased and the majority of the injured members all hail from UNTU. “It is absolutely disheartening and shocking that news of this magnitude was received from external sources”, said Louis Brockett, Acting General Secretary of UNTU.

Metrorail’s sheer irresponsibility in this instance is highly questionable, as collaborative efforts and due communication between all stakeholders in the industry could have minimized the traumatic impact on both the union members and affected commuters, through joint facilitative efforts. Why Metrorail seems to be keeping their cards so very close to their chest remains questionable, added Brockett.

UNTU would like to commend the levelheadedness and empathetic approach of the paramedics and various services on site for their professionalism upon arrival at the scene of the wrecked trains. All trains between Johannesburg and Pretoria remains affected by the incident.

FEDUSA and UNTU conveys their deepest sympathies to the family of the deceased and pray that the injured will make a full and speedy recovery.

[219 words (excluding heading)]

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Louis Brockett,  Acting General Secretary : UNTU

082 920 5301



freedom day

25 April 2015

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA), calls on all South African’s as the country prepares to celebrate 21 years since the first democratic elections in South Africa, to commit themselves to social cohesion and tolerance as we embrace freedom for all. As voters undertook their democratic responsibility to elect their government on 27 April 1994, FEDUSA calls on South Africans to recommit themselves to the values enshrined in the South African Constitution.

The process of walking away from our dark, colonialist past and sloughing off the shackles of minority domination remains a significant part of embracing freedom for all of our citizens. Similarly the Constitution, inclusive of the Bill of Rights is recognized as one of the most progressive charters in the world, and guarantees all those within South African borders the freedom from the hatred and oppression, said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary.

The 2015 Freedom Day celebrations also coincides with the 60th anniversary of the historic adoption of the Freedom Charter in Kliptown, Soweto. It is important to recognize that it is through people that development will take place in this country. The eradication of poverty and inequality is dependent on how each person applies themselves to education, job creation and sustainable use of our environmental resources. Meaningful interventions are required by all stakeholders towards economic empowerment, emancipation and equality for all, concluded George.

[228 words (excluding heading)]

- ENDS -

 FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For sound bites and interviews:

Koos Bezuidenhout,

FEDUSA President

082 372 0020



 MEDIA RELEASE

18 April 2015

Brian-Molefe-www-leadershipplatform-com

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) welcomes the announcement by Public Enterprise Minister Lynne Brown that the Transnet CEO Brian Molefe had been seconded as acting CEO of Eskom, with immediate effect said Dennis George FEDUSA General Secretary. Through the leadership and the inclusive approach Molefe would stabilize Eskom and restore confidence.

It is crucial for Molefe to prioritize and to stabilise the power supply output and to minimise the ongoing load-shedding which has caused serious harm to working people, businesses and the economy, said George. In the short term it is necessary to deal with unplanned outages that had risen precipitously since 2008, with average plant availability falling to a low 70% level from well over 80% five years ago. FEDUSA would invite Molefe to have a dialogue on the introduction of alternative energy sources into South Africa’s coal-heavy mix, while still optimizing South Africa’s extensive coal resources. It is said the country has a 200-year coal-heavy resource in the ground.

Eskom’s mega coal power stations – Medupi and Kusile, are meant to power the economy into the future. Medupi has achieved a significant stage in its construction by the synchronization of its 1st unit (Unit 6) on 2 March 2015 to the National grid. Within the next three to six months, South Africa will see Medupi unit 6’s full potential of 794MW being fed into the South African national grid. While Unit 6 is the first of Medupi’s six units, it should be noted that all required auxiliary services for the entire power station are ready to ensure that Medupi’s total output of 4 764MW is fully synchronized to the South African power grid upon completion and full commissioning.

FEDUSA will approach Standards and Poor as well as Fitch and engage with them to request their reconsideration of the current rating position giving Eskom some space over the short term concluded George

(Total Words 325)

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 For interviews, contact the General Secretary after 13h00, due to meetings with the Deputy President of the Republic currently.

 

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 8051529



 

fedusa_logo original

02 April 2015 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is 18 years old and is deeply committed to serving and representing workers of South Africa in an unselfishly manner within the context of our mission of advancing decent work and decent life for all, said Koos Bezuidenhout, FEDUSA President.

A major change in the South African trade union balance took place with the establishment of a new trade union federation with over 515 000 members when FEDUSA was established on 1 April 1997 by the amalgamation of two federations, namely Federation of South African Labour Unions (FEDSAL) and Federation of Organisations Representing Civil Employees (FORCE), said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary. Importantly, the establishment of FEDUSA   culminated to provide greater democracy and balance by offering alternative solutions within the South African Labour movement.

When an agreement was signed during March 1997 that established FEDUSA, it brought together technicians, administrative employees, pilots, flight engineers, general assistants, nurses, doctors, teachers and other skilled and semi – skilled employees from both the public and private sector of the economy, said Bezuidenhout. The establishment of FEDUSA is very closely related to the fact that a vast growing number of workers from all walks of life felt the need for a much stronger, party-politically independent, non racial and stable trade union federation with unions who can advance the interests of employees and of the economy of South Africa in an independent and responsible manner.

At international level FEDUSA continues to have good relations and is currently affiliated to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), is a member of the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) to the OECD, as well as a member of South Africa Trade Union Coordinating Council SATUCC and also serve on the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the African Union to influence and be the voice of workers on these international platforms, said George. The voice of FEDUSA is also heard at the meetings of the G20, as it is important to design and create a global economy where people are at the centre of economic, social and cultural integration. FEDUSA is a founding member of the BRICS Trade Union Forum and will also attend the next BRICS Summit that will be held in Ufa, Russia from 9 to 10 July 2015, where the importance of implementing responsible macroeconomic and financial policies and to undertake structural reforms that could create decent jobs and sources of income for millions of workers will be discussed, said George.

Since 1997 FEDUSA has grown from strength to strength, and although various trade unions came and left over the years and most trade unions saw a decline in membership globally, FEDUSA continues to protect and promote the rights of workers. FEDUSA and its affiliated trade unions play a major role in South African labour relations and is the voice of workers in NEDLAC, the Millennium Labour Council, which is co-chaired by the FEDUSA President Bezuidenhout, and on the Presidential Working Group. Although it does not perform often as vocal or militant as other unions, FEDUSA unions tend to accomplish more through sophisticated strategic interventions through their negotiation tactics and research, thus making them a fierce opponent in the boardroom deliberations.

Also, because FEDUSA is not crippled by ideological and party-political ties, it can focus on its real mandate, namely workplace matters and issues that affect its members.  For this reason FEDUSA focuses its capacity and energy on national and international representation to affect real influence in policy and implementation, alluded Bezuidenhout.

[566 words (excluding heading)]

 

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

 

Koos Bezuidenhout, President (082 372 0020)

 

Dennis George, General Secretary (084 805 1529)



31 March 2015

corporate governance

JOHANNESBURG, March 31 – The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) welcomes the announcement that Eskom Chairman Zola Tsotsi has decided to step down as director and chairperson, after the board accused him of acting improperly by suspending the Chief Executive, Tshediso Motana and three senior executives said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary.

Standard and Poor has recently decided to cut Eskom’s credit rating to junk status, arguing that the suspensions of the CEO and three directors has led to a total loss of confidence in the utility’s corporate governance. The FEDUSA President, Koos Bezuidenhout and General Secretary, were previously requested by National Treasury to intervene and meet with Standards and Poor and Fitch to prevent further downgrades of the country, said George. The actions of certain corporate citizens have already damaged the credibility of the country, with a string of cases including:

  1. Poor governance at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa)
  2. The Pikitup CEO, who was suspended for a long period, but has recently been cleared and reinstated.
  3. Another example of this lack of role – clarity between the shareholder and the Board in the public sector, is the Minister of Communications’ attempts to make the SABC Board seek her approval on any rule changes to the SABC’s governance, and her determination to appoint Hlaudi Motsoeneng as COO despite the Board’s reservations.

Importantly, the Auditor-General’s reports illustrate increasing levels of fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the public sector; audit committees have a vital role to play in ensuring that processes are put in place to prevent and detect this wastage of public money.

FEDUSA is deeply concerned that public sector corporations have only one shareholder and in most cases, government is politically driven. The Federation supports the core principles of King III and the  Company Law, that boards must ensure that the company is, and projects  good corporate citizenry, which will only be achieved if the company, such as Eskom has regard for sustainable development and provides security of electricity to our country, said George.

The lack of role clarity and comrade deployment in the public sector has undermined good corporate governance as boards are instructed to perform certain actions. FEDUSA supports the principle that shareholders appoint Boards to direct and oversee the company. Thus, these Boards must be free to exercise their collective judgement and make their own decisions. A powerful, single shareholder can break down this necessary distance, so that the board merely becomes a rubber stamp for the shareholder, or the two are in constant conflict.

It is also imperative to ensure that Eskom’s ethics are managed effectively for the Board to safeguard the company and have an effective and independent audit, as well as overseeing the integrated reporting including governance of risk, said George. FEDUSA is of the view that the independent board directors could further enhance the capacity of Boards to improve efficiency and the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA) which is a non-profit organisation could support the process. Eskom has already caused serious damage to our country’s economic prospects as well as Government’s failure to invest on time in much needed electricity infrastructure and maintenance, argues George.

FEDUSA calls on Government as the single shareholder and representative of our people to act in good faith,  in pursuit of long-term goals to restore the credibility of Eskom and other state – owned – companies (SOCs). Even, the reporting of the Social and Ethics Committees of SOCs are neglected and these enterprises do not implement the provisions of the Company Law, said George. Within this context, South Africa could learn from the international lessons of a country like Germany, where worker representatives also serve on company boards through the provisions of co-determination to strengthen corporate governance.

 [670 words (excluding heading)]

 - ENDS -

 

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

Dennis George General Secretary 0848051529



collective bargaining

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) led a delegation consisting of the Motor Industry Staff Association (MISA) and the Fuel Retail Association (FRA) to discuss the current crisis in the Motor Industry Bargaining Council (MIBCO) after the administrative agreement had lapsed on the 31st of January 2015. This critical engagement was held with officials of the Department of Labour in Pretoria on Friday, 27 March 2015, said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary.

Mr Hermann Köstens, CEO Strategy and Development of MISA alluded to the negative impact on the day-to-day operations of MIBCO, concern for the Council’s staff, as well as employees in the industry. The President, Mr Mike Motsoane and Vice-President, Mr MC Lamprecht of FRA, also attended the meeting. Government, MISA and FRA were optimistic that there may be solutions to end the deadlock between the various parties within MIBCO and confirmed the importance of strengthening the Constitution’s fundamental right of collective bargaining and the essentiality of supporting a sustainable Bargaining Council for the industry said George.

The Government and FEDUSA also raised their concerns pertaining to the social benefits of the employee’s provident funds, which will also be affected as a result of this deadlock between the RMI and the other parties to the council, said Köstens.

It is also important for employers falling within the jurisdiction of MIBCO, to continue paying their contributions said George.

[233 words (excluding heading)]

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

  

For interviews:

 Dennis George FEDUSA General Secretary 0848051529

 Martle Keyter (MISA CEO: Operations) 082 8562496 / 079 844 5762

 

 



 

fedusa_logo original

27 March 2015

The 70th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of theFederation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) coincided with World TB Day and the launch of the national campaign,  “Ending South Africa’s TB Epidemic”, said FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George. FEDUSA President Koos Bezuidenhout chaired the NEC meeting, which was attended by the Affiliate Presidents, General Secretaries and other additional NEC senior affiliate delegates.

Sadly, the NEC conveyed it deepest condolences to Heloise, wife and Inge daughter of the NTEU President, who passed away. Jacques Wessels will be remembered as a fighter for decent work and decent life for all, specifically by his academic colleagues in the higher education sector. Wessels was a great believer of the Theory X and Theory Y assumptions that workers will contribute more to the organisation and workplace if they are treated with respect as responsible and valued employees, said George.

FEDUSA supports the National Strategic TB Plan, aimed at mobilising the nation to be screened for TB at least once a year, and argues that it is imperative to care for those who are infected. The Federation calls on all our hardworking health workers, the doctors and nurses, to assist the country in keeping the population healthy and devoid of TB, added George. Naturally, TB specifically affects workers and their families because of socio-economic conditions, particularly difficulties in the mining and agriculture sectors, and it is essential to promote decent work and decent life for all.

The FEDUSA NEC also discussed the progress report of the Nedlac Labour Relations Task Team, pertaining to proposals by Government to limit the duration of protected strikes, forcing the parties to utilise arbitration as well as strike ballots using sealed ballot boxes and verification processes conducted by the CCMA. The vicarious liability legislation, which confers responsibility upon unions in respect of damages caused by striking workers during marches and picketing, was also discussed intensively – as this approach would make it exceedingly difficult for trade unions to function. The FEDUSA NEC has mandated our chief negotiator, Leon Grobler, who served on the Nedlac Labour Relations Task Team, to be vigilant insofar as our position based on empirical evidence. Many neoliberals are attacking worker rights daily, said George.

The NEC recognised, with great concern, that these attacks are fuelled by headlines that consistently portray South Africa as a country that is hobbled by strikes. However, these headlines – news stories, radio reports and television reviews – fail to mention the well-publicised excessively high executive pay, as a contributory factor to these strikes. Some headlines describe the country as being gripped by upheaval due to violent, relentless industrial action, or blame strikes for causing spiraling currency depreciation. The Marikana incident in August 2012, further fuelled the opinion that South Africa is “strike-prone,” and a “striking nation,” when compared with other countries.

But, by using actual data and some simple comparative statistics, one can demonstrate that South Africa is not strike-prone, a striking nation or hobbled by strikes. FEDUSA has, on numerous occasions, challenged these common perceptions and found them to be based on myths. Using the available labour statistics between the periods 1999 and 2008 (published by the International Labour Organisation, ILO), evidence suggests that it is not true that South Africa’s long-term labour movement is one of the most excessive and strike-prone country in the world. The standard measurement for the severity rate of strikes used by Laborsta, published in European Union reports and frequently used by analysts is “rates of days not worked” calculated as the number of working days lost as a result of strikes and lockouts per 1,000 general workers per year, said George.

By using this measure, it is worth noting that South Africa’s long-term strike rate ranks fifth in the world with 206 days lost per 1,000 workers. Lithuania ranks first (5,295 days) [2], followed by Argentina (1,042 days), Israel (631 days) and New Caledonia (279 days), who all rank well above South Africa, said George.

The FEDUSA NEC has also approved the appointments of three more specialist officer positions to further strengthen support for our Affiliates in the areas of the Social Justice, Research and Policy Development and Training and Education, which must all be filled by 1 May 2015. Activating these positions will considerably enhance the already high standard of service delivery to our Affiliates through its respective FEDUSA Subcommittees, said George.

It was also decided, at the meeting, to strengthen the collaboration with the Confederation CONSAWU, through constructive leadership engagements to strengthen grassroots development, training and shop floor communication. This first high-level leadership meeting is scheduled for 7 April 2015 in Pretoria. The NEC has also welcomed the close collaboration with the independent trade unions in the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council, and has supported the call for mediation to settle the wage dispute. FEDUSA stands entirely behind our public servants and realises the important role our teachers, nurses, and policy administrative staff play in the lives of our workers and country.

Excitingly, a further milestone which FEDUSA, as the second-largest trade union federation in South – and Southern Africa (founded on the 1st April 1997) is about to achieve, is that it is turning 18 years old! As its “maturity” is an important milestone, it will also bring with it the expectation of a certain level of advancement and responsibility. Responsibility is the main consideration that is needed from the labour movement to advance decent work and a decent life for all. Therefore, the leadership has decided, post the inputs and discussions at its Senior Leadership Indaba held from 19 – 20 January 2015, and attended by the majority of the Affiliate Presidents and General Secretaries who participated and provided insight and wisdom to serve its affiliates’ members better, to utilise the capacity-building process to empower shop stewards to organise roadshows. These sessions, to be held in various regions, will allow the federation’s leaders to interact with the grassroots structures to stimulate sound labour relations and productivity enhancement for job creation, poverty eradication and inequality, according to George.

– ENDS –

[857 words excluding headings]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George (FEDUSA General Secretary) 084 805 1529



25 March 2015

Retirement fund

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is deeply concerned that non-compliance could wreck the entire retirement industry as more employers fail to pay over contributions to umbrella funds. FEDUSA decided to convene an urgent meeting on 23 March 2015 with the Registrar of Pension Funds Dube Tshidi and various industry stakeholders to develop a new robust approach to ensure full compliance and even criminal prosecution where fraud and corruption are involved said Dennis George FEDUSA General Secretary.

The meeting was also attended by representatives of PTAWU, UASA, MISA, BATSETA and Anesh Soonder of Soonder Incorporated Attorneys whose firm has played a critical role in making positive strides and recovering hundreds of millions of rand on behalf of various funds. The meeting agreed that it is critical to deal with s13A non-compliance in the retirement funds industry and it is essential to ensure that the rights and interests of all parties i.e. the Fund, Member and Employer remain protected said George.

Soonder said about more than 20 billion rand is outstanding as a result of non-compliance and it is important for all stakeholders to work together to ensure full compliance.

FEDUSAis concernedthat the lack of compliance by many employers has resulted in numerous Funds having a substantial backlog in terms of outstanding s13A of the Pension Funds Act contributions. The Federation argues that the Board of Trustees has the responsibility to recover outstanding contributions in terms of section 13A provisions and the mounting burden of non-compliant employers must be addressed urgently. It is also essential to recognise that the various funds and trustees have to deal with hefty litigation costs and resources to ensure compliance said George.

The meeting also agreed that contributions payable must reflect in the administrator’s bank account by the latest on the 7th day following the end of the month for which contributions are due. If a cheque or cash is delivered to the fund or administrator’s offices on the 7th day following the end of the month for which contributions are due, but after a time that it can be deposited in the bank account, it will be regarded as non-compliance with the Act. The contributions must be made timeously to ensure that the fund or administrator has sufficient time to deposit the contributions in its bank account.

FEDUSA maintains that there should be serious consequences if an employer fails to pay contributions timeously and regularly – this includes penalty interest of greater or less than R10 000 and in some instances can be as high as 23% per annum compounded. The situation of non-compliance is further compounded by companies and businesses that support non-compliant companies by utilizing their services and not insisting on regular submissions of compliance certificates.

The Federation argues that it is unethical if members contributions are collected but not paid to the Fund resulting in no death, disability and funeral cover for beneficiaries and members. Furthermore If an employee passes away or becomes permanently disable, they basically lose the benefits said George.

FEDUSA calls on companies not to engage with non-compliant companies and warned that these organisations are placing themselves at considerable risk. The industry should also be warned that nothing that prevents the funds from pursuing businesses who engage with non-compliant companies in order to recover outstanding monies. Furthermore, there are advantages of referring infringements of section 13A of the Pension Funds Act to the Financial Services Board Enforcement Committee. The Enforcement Committee is an administrative body established and governed in section 10(3) of the Financial Services Board Act, 97 of 1990 and by the provisions of the Financial Institutions Protection of Funds Act, 28 of 2001 said George.

The Enforcement Committee (EC) was established to adjudicate on all alleged contraventions of legislation, regulations and codes of conduct administered by the Financial Services Board said Dennis George.  The EC may impose unlimited penalties, compensation orders and cost orders and such orders are enforceable as if it was a judgment of the High Court of South Africa said George. It is therefore important that the new robust approach be implemented to ensure full compliance said George.

In order to effectively deal with the situations at hand and to bring the outstanding contributions under control, a robust approach must be adopted as a singular approach that focuses on merely recovering outstanding monies will result in the current situation repeating itself in the future. The approach will involve working with various stakeholders and engaging with key representatives at each one in order to ensure that information is forthcoming in order to allow the Fund to deal appropriately with each and every matter.

The meeting has also agreed to mandate FEDUSA to approach Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to convene a Ministerial Cluster Committee consisting of Justice and Correctional Services, Finance, South African Police Services and Trade & Industry to ensure better compliance and enforcement. FEDUSA is of the opinion that all relevant unions and federations and employer association should be involved of the monitoring process. The Office of Pension Funds Adjudicator, as well as the Financial Services Board and the Commercial Crimes Unit should assist with the prosecution said George.

– ENDS –

[857 words excluding headings]

 

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529



16 March 2015

 Minister Collins Chabane The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Minister Collins Chabane in the early hours of Sunday morning, 15 March 2015. On behalf of the FEDUSA President Koos Bezuidenhout and our entire leadership we wish to express our heartfelt condolences to Mrs Mavis Chabane, wife of the Minister of Public Service and Administration and his family, said Dennis George FEDUSA General Secretary. Similarly, our deepest sympathies are also extended to the families of Sergeants Sekele and Lentsoane, his driver and bodyguard. Minister Chabane addressed the FEDUSA Collective Bargaining Conference on transforming the public service into an effective service delivery machine on 17 February 2015. At this occasion Minister Chabane argued about the importance of utililising decent work and decent life to create a new public servant, based on the values of our Constitution. In his unique style, he was able to draw people to himself, through his exceptional leadership skills and kindness. Minister Chabane was also deeply passionate about doing something for the disadvantaged people in our country. Through the establishment the annual Collins Chabane Charity Golf Day, funding was secured for charity organizations identified by the Minister himself. Since its inception in 2009 various charity organizations have benefited, thanks to the generous contributions of the Minister’s golfing friends. His genuine friendship, generosity and kindness will stay with us forever and we will really miss him. The FEDUSA flags shall be hoisted at half – mast for the rest of the week in salutation and remembrance of the Minister, his driver and bodyguard, said Dennis George.  

- ENDS –

 [263 words (excluding heading)] FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information and follow us on   For interviews: Dennis George General Secretary 0848051529



13 March 2015

Misa Logo

 The Motor Industry Staff Association (MISA), a registered trade union within the motor industry, raised their concern regarding the potential threat and possible collapse of collective bargaining within the sector. The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is deeply concerned about the irresponsible behaviour of the Retail Motor Industry (RMI) and has already approached the Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant to resolve the matter urgently said Dennis George FEDUSA General Secretary.

The statement of MISA is in reaction to a letter which the employer body (RMI) circulated to its members basically requesting them not to deduct relevant union contributions from employees or to pay it over to MIBCO (Motor Industry Bargaining Council).

Whilst MISA doubt whether many employers will adhere to such an irresponsible request they are however concerned that certain employers may well be confused and uncertain as to what to do. The current scenario within the Motor Industry follows the expiry of the Administrative Collective Agreement, which regulated the industry.

Both Hermann Kostens (CEO: Strategy & Development) as well as Martle Keyter (CEO: Operations) confirmed that although the expiry of the Administrative Collective Agreement will have no or little effect on the day to day running of MISA and its operations, it could have a negative effect on certain individual members who may be unaware that the employer stopped the deduction of their union subscriptions which will result in forfeiting all MISA benefits.

 

[235 words (excluding heading)]

 - ENDS -

MISA is an affiliate of FEDUSA and a respected trade union in the motor retail sector. FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Hermann Kostens (MISA CEO: Strategy & Development) 082 8533563

Martle Keyter (MISA CEO: Operations) 082 8562496



 

budget 2

24 February 2015

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is calling upon Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene to protect the poor and workers when he introduces the National Budget on Wednesday, 25 February 2015. The Minister indicated in January 2015, when he addressed the leaders of FEDUSA, COSATU and NACTU during a NEDLAC Indaba, that he is looking for additional revenue of R12 billion for the 2015/16 financial year and a further R15bn for the 2016/17 financial year by enhancing the efficiency of tax collection and changes to tax policy, said FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George. An increase in VAT would shift the tax burden to the poor and the workforce of our country and would undermine the principle of decent work and a decent life for all, added George.

 

FEDUSA is strongly opposed to an increase in the VAT rate, since this tax is viewed as regressive and lower income groups spend a higher percentage of their income on food and transport, while higher income groups spend a smaller percentage of their income on consumption. The Federation calls on the Minister to rather build on the Medium-Term Budget Statement to support the broader economic objectives of short and long-term implications for growth and job creation, while also enhancing the progressive nature of the tax system, as well as implementing theNDP to support a competitive tax policy that fosters economic growth, an increase in tax revenue, and an increase in the tax base, argues George.

 

It is imperative for Minister Nene to pay close attention to the recommendations of the Dennis Davis Tax Commission (DTC) concerning Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), as the sub-committee through NEDLAC investigated the South African Revenue Service (SARS) statistics indicating that corporate revenue was fairly stable until 2008, and took a sharp downturn after the 2008 financial crisis, said George. This happened despite an increase in economic activity in certain sectors, and the corporate tax contribution to the GDP declined between 2008 and 2013. The Report of National Treasury disclosed that corporate tax revenue in South Africa declined from 7.2% of GDP in 2008/9 to 5.5% in 2009/10 and to 4.9% in 2010/11. In 2011/12, the ratio slightly recovered to 5.1% but then decreased again to 4.9% in 2012/2013, contended George.

 

The South Africa Reserve Bank (SARB), which records non-goods payments from 2008 to 2011 which includes payments for copyright, royalty and patent fees; legal, accounting and management consulting fees; advertising and market research; research and development; architectural, engineering and technical services; and agricultural, mining and other processing services relating to payments flowing out of South Africa increased by R10.2bn, said George. Interestingly, DTC finds it peculiar that legal, accounting and management consulting services increased by nearly R6.5bn (an increase of 32.6%), while engineering and technical services increased by R3.7bn (an increase of 39.5%), concluded George. In this context, the Federation supports the principle of government that tax must be paid where it is produced as it impacts upon collective bargaining rights, employment conditions as well as the campaign for decent work and decent life for all.

 

FEDUSA supports the call of the NDP that South Africa needs economic growth rate of 5 percent and more to reduce the unemployment rate and poverty. The Minister of Finance has agreed to meet with the Federation National Executive Committee on 24 March 2015 to discuss reform measures to address SA’s low level of savings, job creation – particularly for the youth of our country – and the investment that is required to grow the economy faster. The Federation reasons that it is important for the country to stabilise government debt, as the debt to GDP ratio has increased from around 27% in 2009 to almost 43% today.

 

It is also imperative to reduce wasteful expenditure and combat corruption in government. It was reported that, in the past 20 years, the state has squandered R700-billion on corruption and other wastage. FEDUSA also notes, with concern, that certain posts for nurses, teachers and police officers have not been filled, and this places an additional burden on public servants to render a quality service to our people. FEDUSA will propose that Minister Nene set up a joint task team with organised labour to address wasteful expenditure and corruption in the public service to free up more fiscal resources to support of economic objectives.

 

FEDUSA also supports the assertion of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa that the culture of unnecessary litigation, outsourcing by government and the employment of consultants must be stopped, as it also contributes to wasteful expenditure. It is critical that government spend our hard-earned taxpayers’ money wisely, and on priorities that will support our inclusive economic objectives. Outsourcing should be reversed to insourcing to make services more effective and efficient for our people and to support inclusive economic growth, reasoned George.

 

It is also important for Government to introduce strict corporate governance measures to ensure that Departments, State Owned Enterprises and Local Government respect budget ceilings given the current fiscal constraints. FEDUSA is also concerned that Eskom requires an additional amount of R20-billion, yet they have failed to recover outstanding debt from municipalities and to keep the lights on in our country.

 

ENDS

849 Words

For interviews please contact:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529



  • Calendar

    July  2015
    Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
       
      1 2 3 4 5
    6 7 8 9 10 11 12
    13 14 15 16 17 18 19
    20 21 22 23 24 25 26
    27 28 29 30 31  
    WPEC is proudly sponsored by
    True Media Concepts
  • Facebook