The Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) has gathered in Cape Town for its biennial bargaining conference. This is because the country is slowly emerging from the devastation caused by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic to millions of workers.
Labor Minister Thulas Nxesi addressed the councilors on the proposed Labor Migration Act which is currently for public comment. It is one of the industries that were all but decimated as a result of cheap global imports.
The textile and clothing sector blew tens of thousands of jobs. But there are ongoing challenges. The last is the global pandemic.
SACTWU says it has also been hit hard by the cheap employment of foreign nationals at rates that do not fall within the limits of labor law.
Minister Nxesi has outlined what the proposed law contains. These include large fines for employers who persuade a planned quota system that will determine how many foreign nationals may be employed in a particular sector.
Another proposal is that foreign nationals should be employed within the framework of the law, not for less pay and no benefits as is currently the case in many sectors.
Minister Thulas Nxesi explains: “Before we finalize this, we need to listen to what the public and the various stakeholders have to say about it. But the most important part of this policy is to balance the expectations of South Africans who feel they are under pressure due to the high unemployment and the perception, because it is a perception that foreigners are taking their jobs, and how to balance we do this with the rights of everyone including our obligations and the protocols we have signed as a country in SADEC, in the AU and even the agencies such as the United Nations and the INO and we must therefore maintain a balance between you. Therefore, we are talking about how you can regulate this properly, constructively, by putting some sort of quota in the treatment of this particular case.
Nxesi says that employers who exploit foreign nationals who are desperate are distorting the labor market. Severe penalties, including stiff fines for those who convince, are also on the cards.
Gathered in Cape Town, SACTWU representatives brought out the demands and perceptions of employees across this sector. However, given the current economic climate, difficulties may arise.
“It is always between the employers and the labor movement, if we deal with these problems, it does not necessarily destroy the sector. We must find the balance, at the same time we must ensure that we are a responsible organization in terms of employment, at the same time “We also understand that we represent the poorest of the poor, the working class, so at some point we need to find that balance. It’s important to do that,” said MACBUKI Deputy Secretary-General Membinkosi Vilina.
The expected astronomical rise in fuel costs, a consequence of the conflict in Ukraine will add greater pressure. Nxesi says this season of negotiations could result in difficult exchanges.
“If you’re dealing with monetary constraints, even in your own household, there are certain things that you will sacrifice and I say that there should be sacrifice, but not sacrifice, that is not just by Sacrifice by all, we say, for example, that the fuel crises we are facing now are being fueled by an international situation, so how should we deal with the 30 million unemployed? That it’s a nice balancing act, a very difficult one, ”adds Nxesi.
SACTWU will emerge from the bargaining conference with national demand for the workers.
Nxesi addresses stewards over proposed Labor Migration Act – SABC News
Source link Nxesi addresses stewards over proposed Labor Migration Act – SABC News