Education: Getting down to basics

Abraham Motha, Howden Pumps, reports back from his group at the Tembisa workshop

From now until the end of July, all regions will be training shop stewards, especially new ones, in how to best represent their members at work.

In a break from the past, “we have designed the course to enable shopstewards to do what is their first duty: to defend members at the company,” says Numsa national education officer, Dinga Sikwebu.

“For the union, there is no point in shopstewards walking around with big information in their heads if they can’t represent a worker effectively in a disciplinary hearing.”

Piloted in Tembisa local at the end of May, the course reminds shop stewards of their duties, but spends most of the time getting shop stewards to grapple with the basics of how to defend someone at work.

Worker representatives find out the difference between terms like theft and unauthorised possession, absenteeism and absconding.

They also learn the importance of preparing the accused and themselves for the hearings.

Poppie Maiesela from Baisch Engineering, puts her view at the Tembisa workshop

The final session unpacks the different procedures and processes in the Labour Relations Act. Important time frames that must be kept to if the law is to be used, are emphasised.

If your shop stewards are new or need to be brushed up on how to defend you at work, make sure they attend the workshop that will take place in your local.