The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the long-promised launch of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) hotline by the Minister of Employment and Labour, Mr. Thulas Nxesi, today.It is a welcome tool for workers to report employers who fail to pay at least the NMW to the department.
Workers will now be able to anonymously report offending employers by dialing *134*305# on their cellphones. They will then be prompted to indicate their province, town and address and contact numbers of their employers. This will then be instantaneously fed to the department’s labour inspectors who will be required to immediately raid the offending employment premises.
The inspectors will not only ensure that the employers comply with the NMW Act but will check that they follow all labour laws. Offending employers will be subject to fines and where necessary criminal prosecution.
The department will be providing weekly updates on its website www.labour.gov.za on all reported cases and their progress in dealing with them. This will help to ensure that the inspectors do what the law requires of them.
The federation will be closely monitoring the hotline, website, and department to ensure that it is properly resourced, managed and enforced. Workers cannot afford to be disappointed by another government hotline that ends up being a toy telephone.
COSATU and its affiliates will be publicising this progressive initiative. The government must engage in a mass media awareness campaign to ensure that every worker and employer is aware of it.
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794