NEHAWU statement on the strike at the National Lotteries Commission
22 August 2018
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] has been on strike at the National Lotteries Commission [NLC] over deadlocked wage negotiations and horrible working conditions.
At the beginning of the negotiations, NEHAWU made a salary demand of 12.5% across the board and provided reasons for such demands. The employer on the other hand made an offer of 6%. During subsequent engagements on the salary negotiations, NEHAWU reviewed its demand three times until we could no longer afford to go below 8,5%. The employer on the other hand tabled a final offer of 7% which was not acceptable to the demands made by NEHAWU.
The national union and employer engaged on more than five occasions and none of such engagements saw the impasse resolved. The employer’s final offer of 7% subjected the salary negotiations for the financial year to a deadlock and we indicated to the employer that the stalemate will be referred to CCMA for conciliation. Before the matter was even referred CCMA, the employer unilaterally implemented the 7% to management and none unionized employees. The CCMA issue NEHAWU with a certificate to strike.
Workers decided to embark on a strike action which started on Monday, 20 August 2018. The reason for the urgent strike is that the employer is coercing members to resigning, depleting the union membership at a very alarming rate. At the core of our demands is the hostile environment workers are subjected to, the fight for space and recognition, and the employer’s strategy is to liquidate NEHAWU.
The national union has also submitted a memorandum of demands to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Minister Rob Davies, to look into the following issues:
- Allegations of maladministration and wasteful expenditure levelled against management and board members
- Union bashing and intimidation of members
- Irregular appointments
- Use of consultants
- Lack of transparency
- Manipulation of performance management systems and bonus pay-outs
As NEHAWU, we therefore demand that a full independent, impartial investigation be instituted to investigate all matters raised by the national union including the fitness of the board to carry out its fiduciary duties. NEHAWU is of a strong view that the Board must be dissolved due to lack of decisive action on the matters which we have been raising for a very long time. While the NLC claims that it cannot meet the demands of the workers which we as NEHAWU do not believe it is true, assuming that it is true in that the NLC is pleading poverty, it is purely out of their own making.
Issued by Khaya Xaba, Media Liaison Officer, NEHAWU, 22 August 2018