High-Level Panel Report on Legislation rejected – COSATU

Federation says report proposes employers pay young workers a fixed lower wage than older workers

COSATU rejects the High Level Panel Report on Legislation 

11 December 2017

COSATU totally rejects with utter contempt Former President Kgalema Mothlanthe and Parliament’s High Level Panel Report on Legislation. We are shocked that this report proposes that government introduces legislation that would allow employers to pay young workers a fixed lower wage than older workers. Such a law would be completely discriminatory and thus unconstitutional. 

It would allow bosses to fire older workers in their thousands in order to exploit cheap and desperate young workers.  This would rob thousands of bread winners of their jobs and throw their families onto the streets and in poverty.

Government and business must simply work with labour on a plan that will see permanent decent work created for all South Africans.  The solution is not to pit young workers against older workers.  The long promised Presidential Jobs Summit must be convened as a matter of urgency. 

Whilst threatening labour market strife, the report is depressingly silent on how to create jobs and defeat crime and corruption.  Equally it is silent on how to ensure all South Africans have access to basic services and affordable and free quality education.

It is disappointing that the report does not include the many concrete job creation proposals that COSATU submitted to it during the public hearings across the provinces.  This is not surprising as COSATU was continuously and deliberately excluded from the task teams of so called experts who crafted the report.

COSATU is warning government and political parties across the board, that any attempt to introduce legislation that allows employers to pay young workers less than other workers will be defeated by COSATU on the streets, at work places, in Nedlac and Parliament.  Political parties would do well to remember that workers are active, registered and energetic voters with long memories.

Issued by Matthew Parks, Parliamentary Coordinator, COSATU, 11 December 2017