Government must take a tough stance against negligence

Communication Workers Union (CWU) observe with shock a total disregard to life by many employers as we enter in the Level 4 stage of the lockdown. The union strongly hold a view that the pronouncement by the Minister of the Department of Employment and Labour for employers to provide the Personal Protection Equipments to workers that are resuming their work, should be adhered to at all times without compromise. The union has been monitoring many employers since the beginning of Level 4 of the lockdown and the results are shocking. In many areas, there was no deep cleaning prior to the opening of the offices, no sanitisers or sanitisers without alcohol and no gloves. The union will be reporting these employers to the authorities, and further took a stance that workers should not work if there are no precautionary measures put into place. CWU calls for the government to terminate permits to operate if the employer fails to adhere to the rules of the lockdown. The life of people, in general, should be respected and in this instance, the life of workers is placed at risk as profit is in competition with life.  Furthermore, where worker contracts COVID-19 due to negligence or total disregard of the regulations by the employers, cases of attempted murder must be opened by the authorities. We will not curb the spread of the virus if the employers are left to do as they please.

Communication Workers Union applaud the Minister of the Department of  Employment and Labour with his team and the Department of the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) for the great work that they are doing together with the unions. The workers in the UIF department together with their leadership spent sleepless nights in making sure that millions of workers get their money through the Employer Employee Relief Scheme (TERS), which over R 2 billions has been paid. However, we are calling for the department not to treat employers who are flaunting the law with kids gloves. It has been reported that there are employers who are not transferring the money to their intended beneficiaries and later blame the department for failing to pay. We are shocked with a number of        employers that have not correctly registered workers in terms of UIF, therefore misleading workers in that they are registered with the department. CWU makes a call that it should be a law that the UIF reference number should appear on the payslip in order for workers to be able to monitor on their own if their UIF is registered and paid by the employers. We call for the department to name and shame in public, employers who do not abide by the laws of this country. This must include those who used undocumented foreign workers for purposes of exploitation and getting a cheap labour that will earn way below the minimum wage.    

The end

Issued by the Office of the General Secretary


CWU General Secretary

Aubrey Tshabalala

Cell: 061 481 1080