Dispute at VWSA over outsourcing continues

Education in crisis?

Many Numsa members took part in student politics in the 1970s/80s. They were detained, fired at and teargassed.

How does the recent student unrest link with those earlier struggles?
As parents, how are you coping with the financial stresses of putting your children through high school and tertiary education?
What problems are you having?
What do you think are the solutions?

Write and tell us your experiences and what you think.


SABC goes into labour

From the beginning of March, SABC’s Vuyo Mbuli show on SAFM will open the air waves on labour issues. The half hour show from 10 on Wednesday mornings will host trade unionists and labour experts and allow listeners to phone in.

If you want to take part in the show phone them on: 089 1104207.

IsiZulu language radio station, Ukhozi, will follow six weeks later with their 55 minute labour slot from Sunday April 24 at 1.05pm every two weeks.

Umhlobo we Nene will come on air later in the year.

Labour slots on community radio stations will be re-launched again in the week beginning April 24. Details of times and days in the next Numsa News.

Keep on listening!

Beware of Mr Tall

Robert Bosch workers were delighted when Numsa News advised workers that the Numsa Investment Company had negotiated with Penmark Holdings to produce Numsa clothing.

Numsa members could contact Mr Tallman Ngalo, the representative at Penmark Holdings and receive t-shirts, caps, tracksuits etc.

Shop stewards negotiated with management to pay more than R26 000 in May 2004. Workers agreed that management could deduct the payments from their pay cheques over a number of months.

They were concerned when Mr Tall Ngalo advised them to now pay direct to him (Penmark had now closed down) but were shown a contract between himself and Numsa head office that confirmed his position.

But then the deal turned sour. Months later with still nothing to show for the money, Mr “Be Tall and Visible” (as he calls himself on his letterhead) could not be found. His cellphone was turned off. No-one had seen him anywhere.

CEO of the Numsa Investment Company (NIC), Tony Kgobe has now advised Bosch shop stewards to lay the appropriate charge at their nearest police station. The NIC has promised to assist with lawyers if and when necessary.

If any other company has had similar problems, please contact the NIC on 011-783 3578 or Jenny or Judy in Numsa head office – 011-689 1700.

In the meantime, if anyone would like Numsa t-shirts, tracksuits etc contact Rachel Sidyiyo at the Printing Parlour on 011-333 6090; 083 728 1129 or at First Floor Bilbro House, 137 Pritchard Street, corner Nugget Street, Johannesburg..

You be the judge!

Shop stewards who attended a Numsa course on case handling last year will remember the issue of consistency when it comes to discipline in the workplace.

For those who did not attend, here is the advice they were given:

When a worker is disciplined, the discipline can be deemed to be unfair if the employer does not apply its rules consistently. So if one worker is fired for coming late once and another worker is given a written warning even though he has come late four times, then there are grounds to say that the dismissal of the worker was unfair.

Now listen to this case and see what you think:

At a Durban company, an individual was dismissed for distributing a cartoon that depicted Mugabe as a g orilla . The dismissal was upheld by the Labour Court . The actions of the individual were found to have offended other members of staff.

This year, the Directo r that fired him e-mailed an article with photos that some women staff members found offensive. The complaints were that the three pictures displayed women as beasts of burden, caged animals and slaves to men.

When the women complained anonymously to security about the e-mail, nothing happened.

Numsa then brought a grievance against the company for failing to adhere to its own disciplinary code. The grievance hearing was chaired by an Executive Director.

The Director and two senior managers who passed the e-mail about were charged with misuse of company e-mail facilities and distribution of gender insensitive material.

They accepted the charges against them and pleaded guilty . They apologised and were served with a formal written warning.

What do you think? Did the company act inconsistently? Going on past actions, should the first individual have been dismissed? Should the Director and the two senior managers be dismissed? If it had been someone else of junior rank who sent the e-mail, would he have been dismissed?

You be the judge!

Calling all marathon comrades!

Joggers are on the road again preparing for that gruelling race, the Comrades Marathon. And amongst them are Numsa members who run in their spare time.

Gideon Mosue, shop steward at Bridgestone in Brits, is one of those. With six Comrades marathons under his feet, he is training for his seventh.

If you want to keep contact with Numsa comrades who run, contact him on 082 803 4694 or at numsa@bridgestone.co.za and keep Numsa News posted on your efforts.

Maybe Numsa too has a Josia Thugwane!