||Trade unions declare dispute with Exxaro over retrenchments
Media statement Solidarity and NUM 25 November 2010
The trade unions Solidarity and NUM declared a dispute with the mining company Exxaro today. This comes after the company informed trade unions in a Section 189 notice earlier this month that it plans to retrench approximately 300 employees next year. Solidarity and NUM maintain that the company has failed to follow the correct procedure up to now. The trade unions are demanding that the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) step in.
According to Exxaro’s notice, the company intends to go ahead with the retrenchments if its Siyaya project can be implemented successfully. This project was undertaken to examine the core business of the company. Following on the project, it was recommended that the possible retrenchment of 300 employees be carried out.
During the second information session, which was held today, trade unions were informed that Exxaro plans to restructure its service and core functions in an attempt to cut down on costs. According to Exxaro’s management, this restructuring will increase the company’s competitiveness with its competitors, which will eventually benefit its shareholders.
During the first information session which was held on 9 November, trade unions emphasised that the company should fully consult with trade unions. Solidarity and NUM also stressed that the rationale for the retrenchments should be set out properly before the process can be communicated to employees at grass-roots level. In addition, the company was warned that it will be playing with fire if the process is dealt with unilaterally.
“The process that has been followed to date leaves much to be desired and we have no other option but to declare a dispute,” according to Solidarity spokesperson Louis Pretorius.
In terms of the company’s section 189 notice, Exxaro plans to retrench about 3%, that is 300, of its employees at Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga, Exxaro Coal, Exxaro Reductants, Exxaro Sands, Exxaro TSA Sands, Ferroalloys and Exxaro Resources.
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DA in Mokopane service delivery protest
The New Age 25 November 2010
The Democratic Alliance has led a peaceful march against poor service delivery in Mogalakwena municipality in Mokopane.
DA leader Desiree van der Walt said there is an acute lack of water supply and electricity, sewage problems, collapsing roads and many other service delivery concerns in the area.
A memorandum listing the community's grievances has been handed to mayor Bob Mola.
Saccawu strikes in retail sector
IOL News 26 November 2010
More than 80 000 members of the SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) would go on a one-day strike demanding that retail and wholesale companies set up a centralised bargaining forum, the union said yesterday. Saccawu members from 28 national retail chains, including Pick n Pay, Makro and Foschini, would strike today, it said. The union said members had experienced a range of problems with companies when it came to salaries, working hours, organisational rights, strikes and picketing rules. The forum was needed to resolve issues. “Through a centralised bargaining forum we will be able to establish a broad framework, understanding, commitments and minimum standards that will serve to protect and improve the position of workers.” – Sapa
GS presstatement Early Bird Strike 1
F.A.W.U 25th November 2010
Members of the food and allied workers union (FAWU) employed at Early Bid Chickens at Olifantsfontein have started their strike action since the 24th November 2010 at 15h00 following a failure by the company to meet their demands. The strike is pursued by 410 permanent workers out of 610 and 540 casual workers out of 1 170 at this
The union’s two main demands are 8% wage increment and permanent employment of 1 170 casual workers who have been working on permanent basis for several years now, in addition to medical subsidy.
Failure to arrive at the settlement agreement, the union will call on all its members at the Early Bird Standerton plant in Mpumalanga to embark on secondary strike in seven days’ times from Monday the 06th December.
Should there be no progress still in that week the union will inform other poultry companies, such as Rainbow Chickens and Astral Foods’ Country Fair Chickens, and animal feed companies, Epol Feeds and Meadow Feeds, that our members will embark on sympathy strikes as from the 01st January 2011.
Meanwhile, the union has begun to mobilize the rest of its members to be ready to support a call of solidarity actions in support of Early Bird striking workers.
Currently, our members are staging picketing protest actions next to the Early Bird factory at Industrial Road at Olifantsfontein. The General Secretary of FAWU, Katishi Masemola, will join workers at the picketing line and address them on Friday (26th November 2010) at 11h00.
Please call the FAWU Gauteng Provincial Chairperson, Norman Chauke, on 071 677 6004 or General Secretary, on 082 467 2509, for more information.
FAWU General Secretary
082 467 2509
TR Section residents say police shoot at will after 8pm
West Cape News reporters, West Cape News 25 November 2010
The streets in Khayelitsha's TR Section have been strewn with rubbish and the remnants of burnt tyres for weeks as service delivery protests continue.
Although police deny it, residents in the embattled Khayelitsha TR Section that has been ablaze with protests for eight weeks, say an 8pm curfew is being enforced, with police firing rubber bullets at will.Over 50 residents spoken to in TR Section said police in blue SAPS uniforms, but with their faces covered with balaclavas, patrolled the area at night and shot at anyone they saw outdoors after 8pm.
Resident Mncedisi Sam said he was drinking with friends last Sunday when police opened the door and told the group to go home.
"I went out and found some of the police waiting outside, they told us to run."
He said he stumbled as ran. "Three of them came straight to me and shot me on my hand because I was covering my head, and another policeman shot me in my private parts."
Thembelani Mcanda, 17, said he was shot five times on his legs on Monday (Nov 18) while he was on his way to the shop at about 8pm.
"I didn't see them because they were hiding. They never asked any questions, they just shot me. I fell down but that cop waited for me to stand up and shot me again," said Mcanda.
Hlathi Stoto, 53, said he was standing inside his yard when a police van pulled up. He said he was ordered to go inside his house.
"I refused, asking how can I sleep while the police van is next to my house? He didn't answer, he just shot me and I fell."
He said he vomited blood the next day.
"I can't even open a case against them because they are not even wearing name tags so I can't say who shot me, I just know he's a police," said Stoto.
Residents' committee chairperson Luvuyo Hebe said many people had brought complaints to him.
"Some of the residents told me they opened cases in Lingelethu Police station against the police but nothing has happened," said Hebe.
Lingelethu police station spokesperson Siphokazi Mawisa said she was not aware of any cases being opened against the police.
Mawisa said the police only used rubber bullets to disperse crowds when residents were protesting.
She said police were patrolling Mew Way which runs next to TR Section, but if police were covering their faces while on duty they should be reported. ‑ West Cape News reporters, West Cape News
Sentence serial rapist to life, ANC Women's League urges.
The Star 23 November 2010
The Star (South Africa); November 23, 2010; 700+ words ...this," she added. The group of women continued to chant and protest outside the court after the proceedings, saying many more...them. He was arrested on November 12 in KwaMashu, outside Durban. He was alleged to have targeted women aged between 19 and...
COSATU NW launches 16 Days of activism campaign in the farming community
Cosatu 25 November 2010
The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North West province will launch its 16 Days of Activism campaign at the Letlhasedi Combined School in the Mahemsvlei Farms tomorrow 25 November 2010, 29 km along the Ventersdorp road.
The campaign is targeting the farming community to bring awareness on a number of issues including educating them about their basic rights and services which they can get from government and other institutions.
Our theme for this campaign is : No tolerance on abuse against women, men, children and people living with disabilities: stop it now.
COSATU believe that the people in the farming community have been neglected for too long and we should dedicate this decade to the farming community in particular the farm workers and farm dwellers.
COSATU is committed to the 365 days of no violence.
For more information call COSATU NW provincial secretary Solly Phetoe 0823044055.
NW company starves workers for three months
Cosatu 25 November 2010
The Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliates strongly condemn the attitude of the Kopano Bricks company which has not paid its workers for three months.
The company is anti-union and is led by African directors who do not respect labour laws.
400 workers, lead by COSATU handed over a memorandum of demands today 400 workers to the BEE company.
COSATU presented the following demands to the management:
1.Three-month salary payment of workers.
2. Back payment of workers in their provident fund.
3 That all workers are entitled for bonuses including contract workers.
4. That all legislation must be respected.
5,That the Department of Labour must do a full inspection in the company on the OHS ACT.
6.That all employees must qualify for annual leave .
7.That the company must disclose information.
8.That company must stop victimising the union leadership.
The company is given until Friday 3 December 2010 to pay what is due to the workers failing which, there will be protests marches at the company’s gates .
More information feel free to call COSATU secretary Solly Phetoe 
Khayelitsha's TR Section: protests or crime?
IOL News 24 November 2010
Khayelitsha's TR Section has been rocked by violent protests over the past month.
WORLD AIDS Day Protest Planned to demand immediate release of Chinese AIDS & Human Rights Activist, Tian Xi and others
TAC & others 22 November 2010
In a show of solidarity and to commemorate World AIDS Day, the Treatment Action Campaign, SECTION27, COSATU and others will be staging a protest on 30 November 2010 at the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria to demand the immediate release of Chinese AIDS activist, Tian Xi and other Human Rights activists detained in China.
The protest is part of a global campaign to demand Tian Xi’s release. Protests will also take place in other parts of the world.
Tian Xi has been detained in Henan province without a formal sentence since August 6, 2010. He is in prison because of his ongoing campaign to petition the Chinese government to compensate him and thousands of others infected with HIV through contaminated national blood supply. Information about Tian Xi is available here (http://tinyurl.com/32xluhk).
Mr Xi was a child when he was given a blood transfusion that was contaminated. In the 1990’s tens of thousands of people in China’s central plains were infected with HIV and other pathogens through state-sponsored blood sales and hospital blood transfusions that were contaminated. No one has been held accountable and thousands of families have petitioned for compensation; a few have received small settlements and many have been refused. China’s courts currently refuse to accept lawsuits on these cases.
TAC, SECTION27, COSATU and others call on the Chinese government to respect human rights in line with its own Constitution and national human rights action plan.
On World AIDS day we will hand over a petition to the Chinese Ambassador calling for the immediate release of Tian Xi, Hu Jia, Liu Xiabo and many others who are in prison and whose only crime is to defend and promote human rights.
We will also call on UNAIDS to intervene urgently to secure the release of Tian Xi.
We urge you to join us for the march. See details below:
Date: 1 December 2010
Where: Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, 972 Pretorius Street, Arcadia, 0083, Pretoria
For media comments, contact:
Treatment Action Campaign
Tel: +27 21 422 1700
Cell: +27 83 885 3892
Tel: +27 11 356 4105
Indefinite strike at MTC
SAMWU PRESS STATEMENT
22 November 2010
The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) is planning to embark on an indefinite strike action, should the Metropolitan Trading Company (MTC) fail to resolve the issue in dispute.
Forty percent of SAMWU members employed by MTC lost their jobs as MTC had claimed that they want to hire people from the taxi industry.
There was no attempt by the company to comply with section 189 or 189A of the labour Relations Act 66 of 1995, hence we had exercised our right to refer the matter to the bargaining council on the 14th of October 2010, the matter regrettably remained unresolved to date.
We have given notice to MTC informing them that we will embark on an indefinite strike action, with effect from 29 November 2010. We have also filed a notice for a secondary strike, so that all our members employed by the City of Johannesburg can participate in this protected strike action, with effect from 29 November 2010.
As the largest Local Government Union we call upon the City of Johannesburg to persuade MTC to resolve this dispute, so that the strike can be averted.
We urge the community members to understand the continued struggle faced by employees, where they are dismissed on a daily basis, without due processes being followed.
For further comment contact SAMWU’s Greater Johannesburg Branch Secretary, Dumisani Langa on 071 876 7221.
South African Municipal Workers' Union of COSATU.
National Media and Publicity Officer.
Office: 011-331 0333.
Locals resist outsiders
Babalo Ndenze 22 November 2010
Beneficiaries of a housing project in Eerste River will have to wait a little longer for their house keys after a group of residents opposed to having “outsiders” from Gugulethu prevented them from moving in at the weekend.
On Thursday, residents went on the rampage, throwing bottles and stones in clashes with police over the housing project in Beverly Road.
They were reacting to the Western Cape Department of Housing’s decision to give houses from the Our Pride project in Eerste River to beneficiaries from Gugulethu.
Security guards said the people from Gugulethu were supposed to be moving in yesterday, but no one had arrived by the time the Cape Times visited the area.
They said the people were turned away when they arrived with their furniture.
An armoured police vehicle was parked at the entrance of the complex in case more violence flared up.
“They are housing people from other places here and there are people who have been waiting for houses for a long time. It doesn’t make sense to have people from Gugulethu,” resident Colin Lawerlot said.
He said scores of backyarders had been desperately waiting for a house in Eerste River. “They are all living in wendy houses in backyards.”
Corrine Meyer, who lives in front of the housing project, said they would protest until the problem of homes had been resolved by the housing authorities.
“We are protesting because we don’t want people from Gugulethu, people from Mitchell’s Plain. There are people who live in backyards,” Meyer said, adding that they were monitoring the area to see if people moved in.
“People are sitting through the night to see (whether) the people are moving in. People even came here with their furniture.
“On Thursday people were throwing stones. I was also shot at. I have been on the waiting list for 32 or 33 years, but you will find a 22-year-old gets a house. How is that possible?” Meyer asked.
Another resident, Sandra Botha, said she had been on the housing waiting list for 20 years and could not sit around and watch “outsiders” benefit.
Housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said the 300 beneficiaries from Gugulethu would move in “come hell or high water”.
“There are no outsiders here – these are people from South Africa. If people think Eerste River is an island, we are going to use force. If you go to Gugulethu, you will see that there are no prospects of development. There aren’t any big enough sites. Those people are going to move in. We are not going to create a race class. We’re talking about integration,” Madikizela said.