COSATU congratulates its affiliate the CWU for taking the struggle against Labour Brokers forward
15 December 2016
The Congress of South African Trade Unions congratulates its affiliate the Communication Workers Union (CWU), for ensuring that the fight against labour broking is taken forward ;and for ensuring that the intransigent employers are held accountable for their lack of compliance with the Labour Relations Act.
Our affiliate the CWU referred a dispute to the CCMA pertaining to the correct employer of the 61 workers who were assigned at MTN SA since 2010 (through their different labour brokers) till their dismissal on 30 June 2016. MTN dismissed these workers as a way of undermining the law and continuing with their exploitative tendencies .
The CCMA ruled in favour of the CWU and the workers saying that “The actions of MTN appear to be almost in disregard of the legislation, to the extent that they could be regarded as thumbing their proverbial nose at it.” MTN were also instructed to pay a sum of R1 934 352 -00 to these workers who were procedurally and substantially unfairly dismissed. This is a momentous victory for the workers in the fight against Labour brokers.
This is a groundbreaking case and represents a bloody nose for all the vultures, who have been preying on poor workers and the belligerent employers, who have ignored the LRA prescripts for too long. We will be fully behind the CWU if and when MTN decides to take the matter for review.
We hope that the Labour Court will see through the arrogance of employers like MTN, who have little regard for the laws of the country. We encourage more workers and unions to follow suit and make use of the existing law to ensure that employers permanently hire all workers after a three months period as stipulated by the law.
The struggle for labour brokers will never end until they disappear altogether. This barbaric practice treats workers as commodities, who can be traded to generate a profit. We make no apology for calling labour broking a form of human trafficking and a modern form of slavery. The federation has relentlessly waged this fight since 1999, when it was adopted at the launch of our jobs for poverty initiative and there will be no peace in the workplaces as long as labour brokers are lurking around.
Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 15 December 2016