On The Shopfloor: All pay but no work!

Millions unclaimedThe following companies where Numsa won various legal cases still have unclaimed monies. There are still other companies as well. More in the next Numsa News. If you have any questions, phone Sarah Kuane on 011 689 1700.

All pay but no work!Welkom company Tech-Kraft is feeling the might of the law after it dismissed 21 workers for what it claimed were “operational reasons” on November 14 2005.

However, just days before, the workers had joined Numsa. This prompted the employer to call them one by one to the office to tell them that they must resign from Numsa or else their future with the company was at stake. When all refused to resign, they were immediately issued with letters of termination for retrenchment.

Henred FruehaufMoney received 6 June 2003.1 person not claimed his/her money. 6 people not claimed their portion of interest

Robor TubeMoney received 7 April 2004. 32 people still not claimed their monies

GeyserMoney received 5 October 2004. 3 people still not claimed their monies

Mandlakazi PullensMoney received 21 October 2004.1 person who has died has not claimed. His dependants must phone their nearest union office or Numsa head office on 011-689 1700 to assist them to claim his money.

MM&G Money received 10 November 2005. 1 person who has died has not claimed. His dependants must phone their nearest union office or Numsa head office on 011-689 1700 to assist them to claim his money.

Benicon5 workers were sent cheques but the cheques were not cashed. If you think you are one of them, phone Sarah Kuane on 011-689 1700

“The retrenchment was without notice, without consultation and Numsa viewed it as highly unfair,” says Welkom local organiser, Mating Mosia. Numsa referred the case to the Labour Court. The Labour Court ordered the employer to reinstate all 21 dismissed workers confirming Numsa’s claim that the dismissals were both procedurally and substantively unfair.

However, when workers reported for work on December 19, the employer told them he would not pay them a cent and that they were now on unpaid leave until further notice. Angry workers reported their problem to the Numsa office. The union successfully applied for a writ of execution and with the help of the Sheriff, the money was obtained to pay all those workers.

“Workers feel great to be Numsa members,” says Mosia. “They do not regret having been dismissed for joining Numsa and will encourage others to join.” As Numsa News went to print, workers were still being paid their full wages for no work.

Transnet still at the negotiating tableThe show of strength by Transnet workers over their unhappiness over the parastatal’s restructuring plans was not in vain. Arising out of the nationwide strike, the minister of public enterprises, Alec Erwin, instructed Transnet to set up a task team comprising members from his department as well as Transnet and labour.

As Numsa News went to print, Cosatu affiliate, Satawu, said discussions were “progressing well” in this task team. According to Satawu media officer, Ronnie Mamba, the consistent pressure that the trade unions had applied on Transnet had forced the minister to intervene. In this process, “certain facts that the minister was not aware of were exposed, he started seeing things a little differently and that our demands were reasonable.”

Meanwhile, security guard operators are still refusing to reopen negotiations with Satawu after employers signed a wage agreement with other trade unions in the sector. Cosatu has joined with Satawu in appealing to the minister of labour to intervene in the strike which has already left a number of non-striking guards dead and others injured.

Suspension disguised as dismissalDoris Nqetho

Thabile Shelembe works for Dunlop Africa as a tank builder and operator in Pietermaritzburg. She is also a shop steward and local secretary. On October 10 she and four other colleagues were suspended for eight weeks until shutdown. When it was time for them to go back to work on January 9 this year, their employer told them to stay at home. He promised to let them know when jobs were available.

On January 15, the manager phoned them to attend a meeting at the workplace. He told them that their department was closed, the owner was gone, he owed the company R2.6m and he was unable to place them in other departments. The manager said he would give them forms to claim their monies. They worried that if they accepted the forms they would be accepting dismissal. They rejected the forms. Then they noticed that there were casuals working in other departments. They asked their local organiser to investigate and propose placement in those departments. As Numsa News went to print, the organiser was waiting for the employer’s response.

Robbed softly of R22 600Paulina Mohale

Be careful of some ‘consultants’ – they could rob you of your hard-earned money. Recently a Numsa member was dismissed. Instead of coming to the union office to ask for help to apply for his provident fund, he asked a friend instead. His friend took him to a consultant. He signed papers agreeing to pay the consultant a fee [the amount was not mentioned to him] as soon as he received his provident fund.

When the monies arrived at the consultant, the consultant told him that he had to pay an amount of R16 000 as well as R5 000 to the person that referred him to the consultant and R1 600 to the driver that had transported him four times to the consultant’s office. He should have received R1.6 million excluding the taxman’s charges. Instead he was robbed softly of an amount of R22 600.

“Why didn’t you come to the Numsa office for assistance?” I asked “I thought these people would help me quickly,” he replied.

“Why didn’t you refuse to sign?””I was afraid.”

“Do you realise that you have wasted your money for nothing?”With tears in his eyes he said, “Eish comrade, I have four children that still have to complete schooling.”

When I contacted the consultant’s office I was told that the member had signed papers agreeing that money should be deducted from his bank account as soon as his provident fund was deposited into his account. Let this be a lesson to Numsa members – free advice is always available from Numsa offices and Numsa News.