Dear Numsa NewsHow can shop stewards be speedily trained to be able to deal with employment equity and affirmative action? Compliance by employers is minimal and labour inspectors don’t insist on the presence of a shop steward(s) or union representative.

The shop stewards especially need to be engaged on the workplace skills plan and the employment equity report and simultaneously negotiate the implementation techniques with regard to skills development.

Technically as a union we are behind in addressing the skills gap prevalent in the industries currently.In our factory there is a slight movement but on the other hand there is reluctance to be trained by an aging, long-serving, not so literate workforce and the matriculated youth workforce joining the ranks. Challenges are immense.

Bring the Merseta issue closer to the awareness of shop stewards.Babylon must fall!Clinton Nkoane, shop steward, Ekurhuleni region

Dear Numsa NewsI had an opportunity to attend a workshop facilitated by the Competition Commission in Polokwane.

It provided us with an opportunity to fully understand the provisions of the above Act. This piece of legislation has a lot of loopholes more especially on the areas covered below.

On Price Fixing When bread companies were found guilty of price fixing, they were fined millions of rands.

Though the fines looked substantial, they were too little compared with the profits the companies had accumulated through two years of price fixing.

Secondly, the very same companies raised prices almost immediately after paying the fines, recouping the very same fines they had paid. There was no remedy for the victims (consumers), instead there was increased suffering mainly for the poorest of the poor.

My proposal is that the Competition Commission should be given more fire power to impose harsher sentences which may include imposing a price increase ban for a period equivalent to the period during which the concerned companies have been colluding or involved in a cartel.

In this way there will be a direct remedy to the victims as opposed to the current situation where companies just pay the fines that go straight to the Treasury and immediately raise prices.

On Mergers and AcquisitionsThe Act defines mergers in three categories i.e. small, intermediate and large.

The small merger is defined as the one that involves merging companies whose combined assets are less than R200 million and the turnover or asset value of the target (being bought) firm is less than R30 million.

The controversial aspect of the legislation is that the companies have no obligation to inform the Competition Commission and the trade unions, while at the same time it imposes a time frame within which trade unions can challenge the merger if it leads to job losses.

If companies involved in small mergers are not obligated to inform us, how are we supposed to know about them and meet time frames to challenge them?

It sounds ridiculous.We should take up a campaign, preferably at a Federation level, for the amendment of this Act.

There may be other clauses that are equally problematic and I hope those comrades who have read the Act will contribute so that we can consolidate a concrete position paper.Simangenkosi (Jomo) Khoza, Hlanganani regional educator

Dear Numsa NewsI agree with the letter posted by my comrade Joey Mogapi on the October 2009 issue of Numsa news.

Our fellow comrades have dithered from the path by only attending shop steward council meetings when it suits them or is beneficial to their needs.

I find this deplorable. I hope my fellow comrades can find or see the error of their ways. That_boy wazza

Dear Numsa NewsThe people I know who don’t have a right to a union, are workers from the Labour broker.

Why don’t our South African Solders be given rights to a union, don’t they belong in this country? Are they not government employees? Or maybe they belong to a Labour broker. Can they really maintain their families with what they get? Let’s get real S.A

Joey Mogapi, Tembisa local


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