Today's Labour News

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SaftuBusinessLive reports that the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) is alarmed by reports that five bus companies have applied to be exempted from complying with a recent wage agreement that ended a crippling bus strike.  

Algoa‚ Golden Arrow‚ Putco‚ Amogelang and Phumatra Transport Enterprise signed an agreement with unions after the 26-day strike‚ agreeing that workers would receive a 9% wage hike in the first year and 8% in 2019.  Saftu noted in a statement that the companies now wanted the agreement declared unaffordable‚ unlawful‚ unfair and unconstitutional and were reported to be threatening to challenge it in the Constitutional Court.  The federation commented:  “If this application succeeds‚ it could not only mark the end of collective bargaining in the bus industry but in the country as a whole — and shift the balance of power in the workplace even further in favour of employers than it is already."  Smaller employers outside the bargaining councils have traditionally applied for exemptions when agreements reached with bigger players were unaffordable for them.  "But if big companies that sign collective agreements can also argue for an exemption … it will set a precedent for any employer to do the same‚ and make all collective bargaining a futile charade and waste of time — and lead to its collapse‚" Saftu warned.


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