Advice: Dear Judy

Dear comradesI would like to apologise to all comrades who wrote in and their letters were not responded to. I was appointed Acting National Education Secretary and this has resulted in extreme work pressures. ComradelyJudy

Dear JudyOur union does not show or care for service amongst its members more especially in Bellville Local. No organiser is coming to our workplace that is point number one. Point number two, our union is very, very weak these days, no-one cares at all. The organiser who was very, very good was Mr Melford Yakobi who left a long time ago. That man was Iqabane.Numsa is only collecting subs at the end of the month for nothing. Numsa slogan is “the iron that can’t bend” but if there is no organiser, Numsa must make a plan for us. We have long time ago completed an application form but no deductions have been made yet. Numsa has lost information of members file. We are facing here too much problems from our management: 1) Monthly meetings at work 2) Job description not to work all over 3) Hours of work overtime and rate of pay 4) we are not clear about pension fund deductions and payments 5) Relationship between employer and employees 6) Sick leave payment when you are sick 7) Labour Relations Act and company procedure 8) Permanent roster not changing when you are sick. Numsa must pull up his socks!.N Mbaxa, BP Tygervalley, Bellville

Dear comrade MbaxaI sent your letter of complaint to the regional secretary, Karl Cloete. This is how he responded to your letterI have received your complaint and have immediately requested the Bellville Local staff to attend to the grievances and to report back to me by 17 November 2006. Many of your problems highlighted can be investigated by Mibco as contraventions and in this regard the Regional Motor Organiser will be asked to assist the members with the contraventions. We agree that motor workers are very neglected and that the time that organisers take to assist motor workers is unacceptably long. I will personally call you to report on exactly what will be done to sort out the many grievances. In your words, we agree that “Numsa pull up their socks” but Comrade Mbaxa must remember that Numsa is the workers who are members of the Union who must make their voices heard. It will also help if you attend the next Bellville Local Shopstewards Council to voice the concerns of workers at BP Tygervalley. To find out when the next meeting will be held please contact Comrade Mildred on 021 – 9451805.

Dear JudyIt is almost 3 years since we started working for the company and we joined the union from the first month but it takes almost two years for Numsa subs to be deducted. The problems are: 1) if a worker does a mistake like mixing petrol car with diesel, all that damage you pay it and it is deducted as if you have taken the loan from the company: ie R3000 damage for 10 weeks without the worker’s consent – R50 to R400 per week. How can you live with R150 – you know we earn peanuts. After that you get a final written warning. You are punished twice. They say the insurance does not cover workers. Your advice will be very much welcome to deal with this pain. We contacted Bellville local for this matter until now and MIBCO agents too, to no avail. 2) We shop stewards don’t exercise union activities. The boss takes all the faxes and throws them in the dustbin. We want to take this matter further with your assistance, the LRA allows us to do this. 3) The customers on forecourt assault us, we are not allowed to fight back because we are not angels. 4) All cashiers’ salaries are deducted for stock lost without their consent. 5) We are busy with skills development but for certain courses – a) fire-fighting, b) first-aid. How can you develop your skills with these courses? They say that we are only allowed to do these two. Yours comrades in pain Mxolisi Jackson Mngxunyeni/Lusapho Mayekiso(s/s) Cape Gate Engen

Dear comrade JacksonI sent your letter of complaint to the regional secretary, Karl Cloete. This is what he has promised to do:We want to thank Cde Mxolisi Jackson for bringing to Numsa’s attention the ill-treatment and poor working conditions that workers are subjected to at Cape Gate Engen. Comrade Roger Piedt our Regional Motor Organiser together with the Bellville Local staff will help you resolve the many grievances at Cape Gate Engen. In our regional office we have also tasked one of our Organisers, Comrade Mohammed Ismail to provide advice to members and in this regard we will request Comrade Mohammed to offer the necessary assistance and advice. Cde Mxolisi and other Numsa members at Cape Gate Engen must not forget that as workers the most powerful weapon is strike action to force employers to improve the lot of workers. Another powerful tool to build a strong union in our workplace is to attend our Numsa Local Shopsteward Councils. We have Cde Mxolisi’s contact details and will be in touch shortly

Dear JudyI am writing this letter to state some of the problems I have encountered. I worked for a telephone manufacturer, a minimum of 18 years. We had a strike in 1981. I was unfairly dismissed and I was never compensated till today. I further went to work for ERGO East Rand Gold and Uranium for 15 years. I was told to take early pension which I did. I only received the provident fund and nothing else. Please help me get my monies, Judi! M Cindi

Dear comrade CindiIt is hard to know from your letter whether you won the unfair dismissal case against the telephone manufacturer and whether you are thus liable for some compensation. Do you have proof that you should have received compensation?If you belonged to a pension/provident scheme when you worked for the telephone manufacturer, or any other employer you should contact the scheme. A lot of pension/provident schemes are paying out surpluses to people that were members of their funds. You may be entitled to a portion of this surplus.On the Ergo East Rand Gold and Uranium issue – most provident funds pay you out when you leave work and that is the last money you receive from them. Only pension funds pay you a pension once you retire. If you want to make sure I suggest you phone the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on 011-377 2000. They will be able to advise you whether there is any outstanding money owing to you and whether there is any surplus payout owing to you.