Advice: Dear Judi

Dear Comrade JudiI am a comrade from Thabong (Welkom). We have a case with our company name B.B. Mining since 2003. And we met with Cde Norma in 2004. So the comrade told us that our case is going to the Labour Court. From that day we don’t hear anything from that Cde that encourages or motivate us about our case. So Cde I would like to know who took our case, secondly how far is our case? Our worst fear is that the shareholders are starting to fight. Bill Prescott and Micheal Juric. They took this to court because Prescott wants his shares. Comrade, that brings this question ‘what if the company closes, will we still have a case? This company is left with only three workers. Some comrades are on lay-off, some on short time. Com, I am appealing to Numsa to make something faster than before. Long live the spirit of basebetsi, long live!!!

Tebalo Moloi

Dear Cde TebaloThe National Legal Officer now handling this matter is Cde Mathato Kwena and this is what he says. “The case was won at the Labour Court on March 2 2005. The Court ordered that the two applicants must be reinstated and be compensated as well. On March 11 2005 we sent the order to both the company and the Regional Legal Officer to act accordingly as well as to advise the employees concerned. We subsequently received a letter from the Local Organiser Mosia advising that the company is threatening to close down. We subsequently wrote a letter to the company requesting them to confirm the allegations. They have since failed to come back to us. We are currently drafting a writ of execution for attachment of company property.”

And I don’t think that the union can withhold this info from its members. Get an update please!

Dear JudiI am unemployed due to retrenchment on July 30 2002. I worked for SA Mint at Midrand. Then Numsa’s offices telephoned me to organize for me to go to the CCMA Bargaining Council. We won the case. I was told to wait for three months and I have since waited for more than two years. Whenever I go to the offices, I am referred to one organiser after the other. One tells me that my case went to the Labour Court. The other told me that it has been delayed by Mr Chippa Montshiwa. The people that I spoke to are Mishak Sihlangu, Chippa Montshiwa, Mr Langa, William Rambau and Ms Lisa Makalela.

I am now confused and frustrated because I cannot find work to maintain my family. I have been applying but told that my references from my previous employer are not good. That is why I decided to write to you to please help me or to intervene in my case. And to please help me to get my job back because in the first place I do not know why I was retrenched.

Thabo Peter Moela

Dear T P MoelaCde Chippa says that 5 workers including yourself were retrenched by SA Mint. And “the union is challenging the unfairness of the dismissal. A statement of case was filed at the Labour Court on 26th March 2003. And due to unfortunate case backlog experienced at the Labour Court, we have not been successful in obtaining dates for some of the matters referred. We sympathize with the comrades who find themselves in such situations. The wheels of the legal system unfortunately move extremely slowly. “ writes Chippa.

Before I finish I want to say comrades we identify with life’s harsh realities that some comrades find themselves in. As we sacrifice with our limbs and sometimes our jobs, we can only but fight harder and trust that our descendants will not suffer the same fate.

Dear JudiI am a concerned employee in Bosal Plant 35. The starting rate of welders is different between us welders’ rates of pay. There is no skill development especially ABET as you know there are some companies that improve the lives of their workers. In our company management wants to see our lives even more poor and miserable. How can your employer send you to a cash loan when you ask for money? There is no safety; we are working with powder coating. And no ventilator to take all the dust out of the factory. We inhale all the dust. And please because in our company we have more than 150 members. Could you please send us some copies of Numsa News direct to Bosal Africa 40 Van Eck Street Chamdor Krugersdorp 1754? Lastly we are not sure which sector we fall under, engineering or motor. Please we need your help because we believe we are being exploited.


Dear AnonymousHappy reading, I hope Numsa News has reached you by now. I am tempted to believe that there is no s/steward committee in the plant. Or could it be that the structure is just so dysfunctional? These issues fall within their competencies. These are noble demands that should glue membership members. And the management-s/s monthly meetings are the right forum for ensuring that this adhesive is never loosened. These will ensure that workers are properly involved in mandating and reporting backs.

You remind me back in the good old politically hostile days when it was a huge embarrassment to bring such issues to the council. Try standing up and say, hhe-hhe, there is no safety, hhe-hhe we haven’t seen an organiser in two months and there’s no service!” Your tongue will trip as you try to swallow your words. All hands will be up as the meeting yells you “out of order comrade!” So you don’t come as a s/s with half thought out problems and want council to help you solve them. This approach, depending how you look at it, helped a lot of us because it forced s/s to act collectively with members. And minor troubles were snubbed in the bud there and then. There was this implicit or explicit belief that issues of this nature test your strength and leadership as s/s at shop floor. And in the face of this tradition, a lot of us can attest to the fact that there was vibrancy, strong organisation and unity inside the factory. Comrades began to understand how the economy and politics linked and how these ultimately affected their livelihood. Let’s not turn our unions into some fire-fighter approach – all over and nowhere inside those workplaces!

Whilst I understand that time has changed and there’s now legislation and all the protocol, but clearly courts on their own can’t bring about a socio-economic system where exploitation of one person by another is void. In fact the trade union movement should be a leading detachment to free the rest of society from the vicious onslaught of capital. The organiser and the union office are but the infrastructure that sees to it that our factory and other struggles are co-ordinated in a particular fashion. Amandla Awethu!

Dear JudiJudi nginenkinga lana. Inkinga yami ilena. Bengisebenza e-Carlton Paper of SA Pty LTD. Ngangena ngo 1985 ngaphuma ngo 1991. Azange ngiyithole imali yami ye-provident fund kuze kube kunamhlanje. Angaze ngaithola ngiye ngazama ukukhulumisana namashop stewards angishonisa lena nalena. Judi bengicela usizo lwakho please. Sengidiniwe ukwenziwa isilima. Nayi neminyaka ihambile solokhu kuthiwa sizakubiza. Njalo i-shop steward uma ingibona sizakubiza ungakhathazeki. Ubani isilima? Buka sokuyisikhathi eside kangakanani ngaphuma lapho kuleyo femu kodwa kuthiwa siakubiza. Judi ngicela ungisize anginayo imali yokuthatha ummeli, iproblem yami ukuthi angazi manje kumele ngenze njani ukuze ngiyithole ingakho ngicela kuwe icebo Judi. Uma bebona ukuthi bayahluleka ukunginika imali yami kungcono bangibuyisele emsebenzini. Uma ngizwa manje ngabasebenzi bakhona bathi sekukhona enye imanager. Le mina engiyaziyo ayisekho maje masengiya i-shop steward ayisafuni ngingene ngaphakathi sengiphelela esangweni umangiyibuza ukuthi yini indaba ithi umthetho ujikile. Uma sengiyibiza ayisaveli ithi mina ngiyayicasula. Manje sengithanda ukuyisola ukuthi kukhona ekwaziyo ngemali yami. Judi bengicela uyongibuzela imali yami ukuthi ikuphi imali yami. Sengiyozwa ukuthi bathini please ngixakekile nawu nomsebenzi awaukho nendlala izipha amandla. Nezingane zicala ukukhala angazi ukuthi ngizoziphani. Sengathi noNkulunkulu angakusiza dadewethu. Sengiyozwa ngawe impendulo emnandi. Sengiyaphelela lana.

Angisenawo amade anginawo, Patrick Zulu

Dear PatrickUdaba lwakho luyadabukisa. Kepha noma ngabe ngithanda kangakanani ukuthi uphume kulolutaku, cha izandla nezinyawo zami zifasekile. Inkinga enkulu wukuthi awuzange ufake izinombolo zikamazisi wakho, okanye izinombolo zakho zocingo kulencwadi yakho. Phela umazisi lona iwona ovula onke amasango uma ubhekene nezunkinga ezifana nalena yakho. Ngicela ukuthi ungithinte kulenombolo (011-689-1700) sizokwazi ukuthi sixoxe kabanzi mina nawe. Ngifuna sibhalele umqashi wakho incwadi sizwe ukuthi yena uphetha uthini ngalokhu. Ukuze sikwazi ukuphenya ama-shop stewardi sesiphethe ubufakazi bokuthi yaphuma noma qha imali yakho. Uma kukhona esingakutholi kahle bese sifaka isikhalo sethu ngokwe ‘Section 30A of the Pension Funds Act 24 of 1956′. Amabhantshi azogcwal’ umoy, ngiyaxwayisa njalo, uma sesibhalele u-The Pension Funds Adjudicator, eCape Town. Xhumana nami kulezizinombolo ezingenhla ukuze unginike ezakho izinombolo bese mina ngixhumana nawe kuzona. Ngiyathemba sizwene. Ngiyabonga.