First step in passing pro-worker Acts a success – COSATU

Federation congratulates the NCOP for approving historic Minimum Wage and Labour Acts

COSATU congratulates the NCOP for passing historic Minimum Wage and Labour Acts

21 August 2018  

COSATU commends and congratulates the NCOP for adopting the National Minimum Wage, Labour Laws, Labour Relations and Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Acts today at 3pm in Parliament.

This was the final step in the parliamentary processes for these historic pro-worker Acts that COSATU and workers have fought and campaigned for over many decades.  These are the fruits of decades of struggle by COSATU, its affiliated unions and workers in general.  These are historic victories that will benefit millions of workers. 

We salute the ANC for passing the National Minimum Wage, Basic Conditions of Employment, Labour Relations and Labour Laws Amendment Acts.  The federation will also like to acknowledge and thank the President Cyril Ramaphosa for his unflinching support in seeing the realisation of a National Minimum Wage. 

He has contributed immensely both as a deputy president and as a president in championing this historic pro-working class legislation. We would also like to thank Ms Cheryllyn Dudley, MP, for responding positively to COSATU’s call for parental leave and drafting her private member’s bill, the LLA. 

Today’s victories show the power of workers when united.  We applaud the united front shown by FEDUSA and NACTU who have worked very well with COSATU in this campaign for a national minimum wage. 

National Minimum Wage and Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Acts

These bills will see the wages of almost half of all workers or 6.4 million rise.  They will see farm and domestic workers’ wages fast tracked to the NMWwithin 2 years.  This will be a major cash injection into workers’ pockets.  Employers who don’t comply will be fined unless they applied for and qualified for exemptions.

Labour Relations Amendment Act

It will see collective agreements extended to outsourced workers where unions are deemed sufficiently representative but not yet 51%.  It will see workers’ rights to picket and strike strengthened and protected.

Labour Laws Amendment Act

Workers will now have the right to 10 days paid parental and paternity leave when one’s child is born and 10 weeks adoption leave when legally adopting a child 2 years and younger.

It will see UIF benefits for workers losing their jobs increased from 8 to 12 months.  It will see women covered by maternity leave when having a still born birth or third trimester miscarriage.  It will see maternity leave payments increase from 54% to 66% of salaries within the thresholds.  This will see billions of Rands released from the UIF into workers’ hands and thus spur local economic growth.

This is the most progressive overhaul of the labour regime since 1995.  COSATU urges the President to quickly sign them so that the workers can enjoy the fruits of their struggles.  We call upon the President and Department of Labour to ensure that all relevant administrative issues are dealt with speedily and that these progressive and long delayed Acts of Parliament come into effect no later than 1 October 2018.  Workers have waited long enough and now it’s the time to implement. 

The next step for COSATU will be to intensify workers’ campaigns for a living wage, NHI, free tertiary education for all, safe and reliable public transport, and land reform, especially tenure security for farm workers amongst other key struggles.

Issued by Matthew Parks, COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator, 21 August 2018