Labour brokers exist while machines take over our jobs!

Mfundo Mpushe April 2012

At nationwide public hearings, the people of South Africa consistently rejected labour brokers, giving reasons why they should be banned. Labour brokers are reactionary to the living-wage campaign of Cosatu and feed on the working class.

After a parliamentary commission we were told that labour brokers must be regulated. To us, that makes no sense.

Our view was to ban them. Ask yourself this question: why are they still in existence? Does someone in authority own them, or do they have shares in a labour broker company? Use your mind, working class.

In VWSA, approximately 700 temporary workers lost their jobs late last year due to third shift reduction. Some people will be doing the same work on a lower fixed salary regardless of any overtime worked.

At Schnellecke SA, 300 contract workers are losing their jobs. This includes 45 workers who were recently made permanent staff and are now facing section 189. If you compare a forklift driver on permanent staff earning R30 per hour and a casual driver that earns R17 per hour – doing the same job – the gap leaves much to be desired.

It’s a clear indication that labour broking exists in many forms. After section 189 those workers will be called back to work, but now they will be paid at a lower rate.

Way forward

We must continue to wage war against labour brokers. Schnellecke SA should have an entry rate that is close to the actual rate being paid, and after three months of probation those workers should be made permanent staff and earn the actual rate.

When these companies employ people it becomes a public issue so our national office-bearers should be exposing them and, in times like these, regional office-bearers should force them to train retrenched workers.

Mfundo Mpushe is a shop steward at Schnellecke SA


Numsa News No 1